Every day on instagram, I post a record photo, an audio snippet and a mini statement about the record on display. And since all I really know about is music, I figured I’d share here weekly. I’m not here to tell anyone that my taste is better or that I somehow have more knowledge, I just really enjoy music of all kinds and love to share in hopes of generating discussion. Sure, I have my thoughts on albums, songs, labels and artists, but would love to simply talk more about it with any and all interested. If you continue reading, thank you for your time. If you’ve already moved on, thank you for stopping by.
Another week has gone by, so more records have been spun. Hopefully, this week is ending well for any and all. Exhaustion has gotten the better of me this time out and I really don’t have much to say about it. As many close to me might say, this rare and welcome.
To the vinyl!
July 15, 2018
The Replacements – Pleased to Meet Me
I was aware and not really a fan of Paul Westerberg’s solo material before I ever knew of The Replacements (at least the band, that is) and my head tends to be stuck in the habit of silly association exercises. When someone recommended the band, all I could immediately recall was how bad the movie The Replacements was and that actually affected how much reverence I gave to this person’s recommendation. Well, I’m not sure there’s an adjective to describe either how incorrect I was and the level of happiness at being that wrong. The first album I heard was actually Tim and I went after everything else as fast as I could in whatever order I could find. Pleased to Meet Me is such a dirtily polished album. Production is present, sure, but it’s like ironing a tuxedo t-shirt. Sure it’s clean, but any attempt to fool anyone into believing it’s anything other than what it is would be ultimately silly. That idea is what makes this band so great. Not only were they defiantly themselves, they were never going to clean themselves up despite the major label paycheck. The Replacements, if you’ve not heard them, should be higher on your list of bands to get into.
July 16, 2018
Silvertones – Silver Bullets
When I started dating post-separation, it actually became fun in some weird way to watch perspective partners judge my interests. It’s not like I sat down across from someone and proceeded to jump into E3 discussion, trophy levels or comparing platinum numbers. I’m not sure I’ll ever get why discussing reggae music invoked some of the bigger eye rolls, scoffs or snarky responses. Sure, I have hypotheses but I’ll save that for another time. Silver Bullets by Silvertones is an album by a reggae group that I’d recommend for those not into reggae. Not because of its definite gem quality, but because there’s a template in place that’s not defined by its performers. Lee “Scratch” Perry is at the helm for production with a little help from King Tubby (those are legendary names in terms of concocting dub and incorporating tech into the genre in new, wild ways). And, not to knock the group, but the trio Silvertones could really have been anybody. Silver Bullets is more a perfected blueprint than a finished product for vocal groups incorporating contemporary pop into the Jamaican lexicon. Oh, and yeah, it sounds fabulous too!
July 17, 2018
Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die
Growing up in Iowa, Hip-hop was and really still is a wild world. I’m eternally fascinated by it despite knowing I’ll never grasp it. Ready to Die didn’t bring this world any closer or make it any clearer, but “Juicy” is that perfect crystallization of a feeling of getting to where you wanted to be but not really understanding how. Biggie even says so himself, “I was just trying to feed my daughter.” I chose “Big Poppa” for the audio because that’s the cut that brought me and a lot of my cohorts into B.I.G.’s world. I still wish the single version of “One More Chance” was present here. I was never one to really follow the beef between East Coast and West Coast hip-hop. I just remember one conversation I had with some friends about it and they were comparing them. This might’ve between after 2pac’s death, but before Biggie’s, but I brought to light that the whole thing was stupid because Wu-Tang Clan are from New York. They looked at me like I was crazy, then we talked about basketball for a while. For what it may be worth, it sucks that Biggie and 2pac were killed. Both would release 2 masterpieces, showing enough promise to paint a bright future for hip-hop and I wish they were able to continue. Forget the beef. I don’t miss that. I do miss them.
July 18, 2018
Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
Every so-often, I get insular and internally make it worse in new and exciting ways. Camera Obscura is a great band for that. With a heightened sense of wit, classic pop orchestration and an golden voices for days, I’m not always in the mood for them, but when it rains, it pours.
July 19, 2018
The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
The Shins hit minor sales boosts when Natalie Portman stated, “This band will change your life” in the indie darling film for like 10 minutes The Garden State. The best thing they could’ve done was wait a few years to release another album. Wincing the Night Away was worth that wait. Without being a departure for the band, it felt fresh to me at least. This band did not change my life, but I’m glad they’re in it.
July 20, 2018
Sublime – 40oz to Freedom
Ah, high school. There’s not a band that recalls both the good and bad of that time for me quite like Sublime. In the year or so leading up to the release of their self-titled third album, I was absolutely boring friends to death with this album. I was stuck on it a while. Mainly because they weren’t played on the radio, yet. 40oz to Freedom is their best album. Period. It puts everything that this SoCal trio had into its 4 sides of vinyl. I’d be lying if I said they were my favorite band at any point in time. I wouldn’t fault those I barraged with this album for thinking otherwise.
July 21, 2018
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Daft Punk made the template for big arena dance music in their bedroom. They then found a way to make interesting live shows and albums out of it. All before they struck pop music pay dirt with “One More Time.” Who knew that adding LED robot masks and one of the great light shows in concert history would just finish the job of making them legends. What am I saying? Of course it would! 7 years after all that, they released Random Access Memories, an album crafted in the analogue tradition produced by Nile Rogers. Retro-futurism has a new high water mark.
Thanks for stopping by.
Banana and out!