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

When the People Start to Move

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.

Washed Out – Life of Leisure (2009)

My coworker told me this was made to sound dreamy and nostalgic, like it was being played from an old cassette deck. “Like ’80s beach music,” he said. Whatever that means.

Actually, it means this. I would also add synthpop to that description, just so you know. You could assume so from likening it to the ’80s, but there was other stuff going on then, too. Continue reading

Play the Strings of Your Death

I know I usually post these on Saturdays, but for most of October one person or another at work has shared some music that helps them get in the mood for Halloween. This week, all of the suggestions had that theme. And since Halloween is on a Friday, I’m posting this a day early.

FYI – 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.

Dead Man’s Bones’ self-titled (2009)

This album was not supposed to be an album. This was intended to be a soundtrack to a play about a monster/ghost love story.

A play written and produced by Ryan Gosling.

Scrapping the stage show when costs became prohibitive, they already had songs written and decided to continue. The result is this collection of songs about werewolves and zombies. It doesn’t feel like a soundtrack, just a themed album, which is kinda impressive. I don’t know if they had to change things, but it works.

And it features the children’s choir from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a music education non-profit founded by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea. Continue reading

My Get Up and Go Must Have Got Up and Went

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.

Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic (1975)

I guarantee everyone has heard Walk this Way and Sweet Emotion, even if they didn’t know they were by Aerosmith. This is another one of those albums I could listen to on vinyl. I don’t think I purchased this myself. I think this was a find in my uncle’s basement sometime when I was helping him move. And I kept it based on name recognition of those two songs alone.

Continue reading

When You Think You’ve Got the World All Sussed Out

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.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (1977)

This is a classic. This is one of those albums (and artists) I got into because they influenced some of my influences (like Jack and White). I love almost every song on this album, but I bet my favorites aren’t the ones you’re thinking of.

Continue reading

It was the Roar of the Crowd that Gave Me Heartache to Sing

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.

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade (2006)

I think the only song from this album I have heard before is the title track. And from that little exposure, I think Chris described them perfectly when he shared this album:

“…it is very Queen-tastic. Large, bombastic melodies, epic double guitar solos, a powerful and energetic vocalist, hard rockin’ grooves…. I give you The Black Parade, a grandiose concept album centered around death…. This album (and the band in general) are much more Tim Burton in their doom and gloom than anything else. Believe you me…when this album first came out, I was on the other side of the fence. I didn’t want anything to do with this group. But one listen to first single “Welcome to the Black Parade” (which I’m sure you’ve all heard) and it was like a slap in the face. I couldn’t help it. That song and has one of the most epic melodies of the last decade.” Continue reading