Take Off Your Shoes Babe, it’s Time for Dancin’

For a couple of years some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Queen – Innuendo (1991)

This is it. On Thursday, Tim went to Denver to see Queen + Adam Lambert live. And to close out his month of listening to Queen albums before the show, Tim shared the last Queen album released during Freddie Mercury’s lifetime.

I know what you’re saying: “But we haven’t done Hot Space or Flash Gordon or The Cosmos Rocks.” I know. don’t tell Tim. I think Hot Space was an oversight, and I bet we’ll get there eventually. Although I think Flash Gordon may have been intentional and may not make it into this game. The Cosmos Rocks isn’t a “real” Queen album, so who knows. Continue reading

On Songwriting

Aside

I was talking to one of my guitar-playing coworkers about music and he asked me about how I find inspiration to write. I told him it’s both way easier than he might think, and also much harder than he might think.

Partly, it just takes time. Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying that he never failed when perfecting the lightbulb; he learned things that didn’t work. Continue reading

Don’t Let Them Applaude

For a couple of years some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Jefferson Starship – Red Octopus (1975)

Tim was going to share Queen’s The Works, but after realizing he shared that album last November, he went with Jefferson Starship. They’re a classic rock radio staple, but I’ve never really taken a dive into their catalog. Continue reading

We Were Rocking Out

Some of my friends and I share music with one another to listen to at work. We’re supposed to review/rate whatever’s shared with us, but that doesn’t always happen.

This week marks three years we’ve been playing this game. To commemorate this occasion, we did a “best of” – we shared our favorite albums originally shared by somebody else that we wouldn’t have shared ourselves. Does that make sense?

For example, I could only find five times I gave out a perfect score. Once, Tim shared an album I would have gotten around to sharing, but he beat me to the punch. Another time, Spencer shared an album I had suggested before he joined the game. Of the three other albums, I had never heard of one band (perhaps I would have discovered them eventually and shared them, but who knows), had heard of another but never listened to them, and the last album is from an artist I listened to on the radio in the ’90s/early ’00s, but after getting burned copies of the whole albums, I wasn’t super impressed. So when a new album came out a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have given it a chance unless (like Chris did), someone suggested we listen to it for this game.

Basically, it means there was a ton of great music shared this week. But before we get there, here’s what my friends thought of as the best things shared in this game over the past three years.

Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song (2011)

Spencer went with the album that has most entered his regular listening rotation (though he did say it is probably tied with Toh Kay’s Hand that Thieves, but went with this one). Continue reading

I Heard the Old Man Stamping His Feet

Some of my friends and I share music with one another to listen to at work. We’re supposed to review/rate whatever’s shared with us, but that doesn’t always happen.

Squirrel Nut Zippers – Hot (1996)

These guys have been on my list of things to share for a very long time. Now felt like a good time. You may have heard their biggest hit (which is on this album), Hell.

The ’90s were a good time for bands with brass sections, but nobody really saw this coming. They have a very distinct feel. Some bands it’s hard to put a name on their sound, but here it’s easy: vaudeville jazz. The band we’ve had in this music game so far that is close to similar is The Ditty Bops. But you can take bands like Barenaked Ladies, Dog on Fleas, Nickel Creek, Norah Jones and Quintette du Hot Club de Jazz and blend them up to get a similar feel. Continue reading

We All Keep Moving On

Some of my friends and I share music with one another while we work. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Again, nobody else shared anything this week. But instead of just getting one album, I also thought I’dd add in something special.

Bob Seger – Glenn Song (2017)

This Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Glenn Frey, one of the founders of the Eagles. I didn’t know this, but apparently he was friends with Bob Seger since before either of them were famous. A few months ago, Bob wrote this song for/about Glenn and he is giving it away for free in Glenn’s memory.

Bob said he knows it isn’t a hit song, but it isn’t supposed to be. It’s a rather intimate reflection on the personal friendship between two rock legends. It’s melancholy and nostalgic. It made me think of the people I’ve played with over the years, and the relationships I haven’t maintained.

 

You can find it here: http://glenn-song.bobseger.com/

Here’s what my friends had to say:

“This was a nice heart felt song. I feel like it was of course written well, and performed well, but was one of those songs that has way more meaning to the author than the listener. Still, great song.” 4/5 – Tim

“Glenn Song was cool. agree with Tim’s comments pretty much.” – Spencer

George Winston – Forest (1994)

Lately, my musical outlet has been at the keys. It’s not acoustic, and I can plug headphones in, so I can be as loud as I want as late as I want. I’ve been writing new stuff, as well as revisiting and reworking some old tunes. That also means I’ve been listening to more modern solo piano music. Continue reading

The Things You Can’t Remember Tell the Things You Can’t Forget

For a couple of years, some of my friends and I have been sharing music with one another. We’re supposed to review/rate whatever’s shared with us, but that doesn’t always happen.

There are very few weeks where I think, “of course so-and-so shared that album” about everything shared. This is a very personality-specific week of sharing.

thesoulutionsthisiswhatyougetUSU Jazz Orchestra – Europa (2014)

Both Spencer and I played jazz at Utah State University, but my tenure as an official college musician didn’t last long. I just felt like they wanted me to be a robot. I was only under the direction of Dr. Gudmunson a few times, but I liked him. Apparently he doesn’t feel much different than I did. According to Spencer, this is Dr. G’s response to what he feels is stagnation in the world of jazz.

“The future of jazz is east where European writers and bands are breaking the rules and actually making hip new music,” he said. Continue reading