Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Booker T. Jones - The Road From Memphis
Seems fitting enough considering the flooding in Memphis this week. I always find it easy to listen to his music but am rarely taken by it. I like the addition of guest vocalists here including Jim James.
Ben Sollee - Inclusion
At first listen I threw out the names Paul Simon and Brett Dennen. I believe the quality of the songs and the soul of the sound are on par with Simon. I use Dennen as the low end measuring stick. I know he is really pretty good but I've had problems appreciating his ilk of singer over the last 10 years. There are several "soulful" white boys who feel the need to use their own brand of annunciation that really kills it for me. Sollee is not there, but he can edge on it at times. I like him because of his Kentucky roots and community fueled shows and songs. I will always give him some bonus points for that and I will always want to listen to what he has to say. Hopefully this one will grow on me. Here is a link for a good review by Silas House.
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
I would say this one is at the same level as the first. They came onto "the scene" pretty hard a couple of years ago and garnered lots of critical and popular praise. I listened then and I liked what I heard although I never jumped in deep. I doubt I'll jump here either but I will always welcome such sweet sounds and maybe one of these days, I'll get to know these songs well enough to feel steeped.
The Felice Brothers - Celebration, Florida
Warren Haynes - Man in Motion
Man Man - Life Fantastic
Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
Lee Scratch Perry - Rise Again
El Obo - Oxford Basement
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I don't remember exactly how it happened but when I was about 11 I became fascinated with the 1950's and my parent's school days. They pulled a huge stack of 45's out of the attic and I dug through them and I dug them.
I don't remember what all was in that stack but I think my favorites were Tequila, Purple People Eater and (My Baby Does) the Hanky Panky. Really, Hanky Panky is pretty punk rock for that era. I got pretty fired up about The Four Seasons feat. Frankie Valli and anything by the Coasters. I mean, Yakety Yak, Poison Ivy and Love Potion # 9 ruled my brain.
It became clear that those records weren't going to satisfy my thirst. A year or so into this obsession, my Dad recognized that I need to dive in. He had a friend at work who had purchased a huge collection from Time Life????? of music of this era. There were different years represented and some focus on things like Doo Wop and Elvis. His friend made tapes and he brought one or two home every week or so. The biggies that I remember were;
Jerry Lee Lewis
I liked it all, including the cheese;
Rockin' Robin, At the Hop, Peggy Sue, Be-Bop a Lula, Tutti Fruity, Book of Love, Duke of Earl, You Send Me, ..........
I loved Sea of Love and I loved loved Runaway by Del Shannon. That song got me pumped.
When I was between the ages of 11 and 18, I was the manager of grounds maintenance at 263 McCullough. In other words, I mowed the yard all summer. Funny thing is, I don't remember a riding mower... Anyway, my parents have way too much yard. We lived in the country at the top of a hill with a long driveway, a big front yard and like 3 back yards.
It was just the right size so that if I mowed every chance I got in the early spring, by the time I was finishing up the back yard(s), the front yard had grown back, so I never had to worry about where to store the mower.
From ages 13 - 15 or so, I remember having a cassette walkman and I burned through an outrageous amount of batteries with that thing. I have a distinct memory of the tapes that spent most of their time in there and I know every word, musical phrase and breathe from those recordings. There's something about listening on headphones (regardless of the hum and vibration of the mower).
U2 - Joshua Tree
Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers - Conscious Party
INXS - Kick
John Mellencamp - Lonesome Jubilee
Midnight Oil - Diesel and Dust
Terrence Trent D'Arby - Introducing the Hardline According to TTD
Beastie Boys - License to Ill
..... many of which I had bought bootleg versions at Court Days. The tapes were white and the writing wore off.