Surrounded with the Sound of Laughter

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

I thought about sharing something Christmas-y, but there’s only one whole Christmas album I really love, so I’ll share that soon. I’m not a total Christmas Curmudgeon, but in the meantime I’m just going share whatever I want.

Anyway, here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Barenaked Ladies – Barenaked for the Holidays (2004)

This is one of the few winter holiday albums I have in my iTunes. It’s probably my second favorite. Another one of those albums I probably don’t have to listen to in order to review, but I will. Mostly because I really need stuff to listen to while I work. Continue reading

Light of the World

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

A few weeks ago, there were two ideas of how to pick what to share. At the time, we decided to go with something from Rolling Stone‘s 500 100 Greatest Albums of All Time up to May 2012. This week I decided to share something from the other option: an album I think is overrated. Frankly, I’m glad I put this off. I needed a couple of days to think of an album I like, but was over-hyped. At least, when it was first released. But before I tell you what album I thought of, let me tell you what I thought about my coworkers’ suggestions.

Except Tim, who has been sick for days and days decided he didn’t want to go with his own suggestion of something over-rated, and went with his own theme. And then my brother followed Tim’s theme, so now my album is out-of-place.

Apparently the holiday with the most music is coming up.

Anyway, here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Twisted Sister – A Twisted Christmas (2006)

My brother shared this with me years and years ago. Tim admitted right up front that the album is cheesy and tacky. Here’s one of my big beefs with Christmas music in general: it’s all just novelty music. Most of it isn’t great, musically. It’s the words and emotion that are most important. I like the song, but I don’t need more than 700 different versions of Silent Night. In a study by Time magazine, that carol has had 733 copyrighted recordings since 1978. Those are the copyrighted recordings. How many people have done their own arrangements, but not recorded them? Or not copyrighted (copy written?) them? Considering it is nearly twice as dominant as Joy to the World (a distant second with 391 recordings to its name)(and not that Joy to the World, either), I’ll bet there have been more than 1,000 different versions. Everybody and their cat has done their own unoriginal (or too original) version. Continue reading

Anyone Who Speaks Can Say the Same Truth

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

Here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Wye Oak – Shriek (2014)

Chris shared this album because as the year draws to a close, he’s decided it was his favorite album of the year. And I was the first person to know.

This band is similar to Beach House. Woman vocalist, a male band mate, and whatever the two can pull off in the studio. Spacey and melodic. Not as psychedelic as Beach House, and that’s OK. Continue reading

Mullet with Headlights

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

Since this work week is short, and kind of a throw away, we decided to share something oddly entertaining and strange. Which just turned into different interpretations on the idea of a music video.

Back when Tim owned and operated a comic book shop, they used to play Japanese anime music videos set to popular music. Think of a traditional music video but instead of original film, someone has edited an anime to sync with the music. Although, I have never seen an entire anime episode/movie so forgive me if I sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about. Anyway, you get things like this:

Being a fan of the video game, of course I have run across Rabbit Joint’s The Legend of Zelda before. But when combined with the visuals of Record of Lodoss War, it actually works better than the original The Legend of Zelda TV show.

Continue reading

Feeling More Human

Lately most of my posts have been based on a weekly music sharing conversation with my coworkers. Of the five of us who started that conversation, one has since left the company and another is now just too busy to participate. We’ve tried including other coworkers, like my boss or my brother, but they only recommend one album the first week  we invite them and that’s it.

But from time to time, while waiting for a meeting to start or riding in the elevator, someone who knows I’m into music will suggest I look into a band. Months ago my boss suggested I look into Hozier’s self-titled debut album. Continue reading

Like a Rolling Stone

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

This week we decided each of my participating coworkers and I would share an album from Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time that we never gave a chance. Or rather, the top 100 albums up until May 2012. These are in ascending order, like how Rolling Stone had them, and after my review I’ll put my coworkers’ before I move on to another album.

Here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) – Number 43

One of my favorite things about Pink Floyd has always been David Gilmour’s simple guitar solos. As I’ve played more fast banjo licks and done more improv solos on trombone, I’ve gotten better at my improv guitar solos, but I’ve never played a guitar solo to melt one’s face. Gratefully, Gilmour provides justification that I don’t have to play lightning-fast, gut-busting guitar solos. Sometimes less is more.

Specifically, the solos in Time and Money are great. In 2006 Gilmour said, “[My] fingers make a distinctive sound … [they] aren’t very fast, but I think I am instantly recognizable.” Continue reading

When the Rain Sang to Me

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

This week took on a rather international flare with two Russian bands and a Japanese band. At least, it’s not American, British or Australian as has been the majority of things covered so far. Although, I guess there has been some French, German, Hebrew, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish music before….

Anyway, thanks to friends who lived in both countries, I know phrases in both Russian and Japanese. But couldn’t hold a conversation in either, so song lyrics are beyond me.

Here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Distemper – Ska Punk Moscow (2004)

These guys are from Russia. And I have no idea what they’re singing about. But the vocalist seems to take inspiration from the Mighty Mighty BossToneS. Musically, these guys remind me of the Mad Caddies. Or Spain’s Ska-P. Continue reading