What do You Want Me to Say?

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

After getting Mustard Plug and then The Beam Me Up Ska-Ts for context, I shared an album this week I meant to share when it got released (less than a month ago), but I was busy finishing grad school and such, so that plan didn’t work.

Scheming Thieves – A Classic Ruse (2018)

I like this album, but I’m not sure I love it (except the raccoon artwork – I do love that). It’s like being told you’re going to get Catch-22 and you think Keasbey Nights, but you get Alone in a Crowd or Dinosaur Sounds instead. Not really a bad thing, but not what I was expecting from a group of guys I know to be heavily influenced by Streetlight Manifesto. I think, overall, I got more punk influence than ska. The whole album is a little angrier. Not to say Streetlight isn’t angry. It’s just … complicated (like that whole paragraph if you’re not up on your Catch-22/Streetlight history). Continue reading

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The Kids from the City, Finding it Pretty, Took it Home

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.

Brian Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974)

We’ve had a little Brian Eno before, and quite a few things he has produced. But this is his second solo album. Brian is known for being experimental, and while this isn’t exactly normal, this is a nice bridge between where music was and where Brian has gone. Continue reading

Into the Half Light

For more than a year, some of my friends and former coworkers have been sharing music. The idea is that we’re supposed to review/rate what’s shared with us, then share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

The Aristocrats – The Aristocrats (2011)

Apparently the band got their name from a somewhat dirty jokes, and that shows in some of their song titles.

Spencer wasn’t kidding when he said this was an instrumental hard rock album with jazz influences. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Except maybe instrumental prog.

Instrumental albums all seem to have the same upsides and downsides. The main downside is that everything blends together. A potential upside (if done well – otherwise it’s another manifestation of that main downside) is that they have to be musically interesting to be more than background soundtrack to whatever else you’re doing while you listen to them. Continue reading

I was Looking for a Piece that Fit

For more than a year, some of my friends and former coworkers have been sharing music. The idea is that we’re supposed to review/rate what’s shared with us, then share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

This week, my former co-worker Tim suggested we all share something from the past couple of years that we haven’t listened to. Ok. Sure. This is a little different. My band mate Spencer went through bands that he used to listen to, but hasn’t really kept up on to find something. I thought about doing the same thing, except it seemed overwhelming. So I just went through bands that I’ve already shared with the group looking for side projects.

One that I really wanted to share was Andrew Stockdale’s solo album he released while Wolfmother was on hiatus. But he writes all their stuff anyway, and, as it turned out, they recorded it while they were still together. Really it’s just a Wolfmother album with a different name, so I guess that’s not going with the spirit of this week’s “theme.” Not that we always have to have a theme. But, it’s not on Spotify anymore anyway.

Before I get into what I did find, let me get into what everyone else shared.

Bette Midler – It’s the Girls (2014)

Tim’s whole idea behind suggesting we share something we haven’t heard that’s been recorded and released in the past couple of years was so it will help us stretch our selections and have a dose of what is being recorded “today.” Yet he shares an album from a woman who’s been recording for the past 50 years. Not only that, it’s a cover album of songs that inspired her to start singing in the first place. So an old woman singing old songs is supposed to have a dose of what’s being recorded today? Continue reading

My Heart Knows Me Better than I Know Myself

If you’ve read my blog at all in the last 9 or so months, you know why I’ve been posting what I have. Every week, some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music with one another. We’re supposed to review it, rate it, and share that with one another – but that doesn’t always happen.

This week, I got an album partly as a reaction to what I shared last week:

KT Tunstall – Eye to the Telescope (2004)

This is her first album. Like The Coral’s Dreaming of You, I was first introduced to the single, Suddenly I See, via Lego Rock Band. So I was expecting this whole album to be full of songs like that track, but that’s not exactly what I got. 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

You Always Run Around Breaking All the Rules with It

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. Here are the two albums that were suggested to me this week.

A note on how I rate things. One star 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.

The Black Keys – El Camino (2011)

I had heard of The Black Keys years ago (maybe when Brothers came out), but I’ve never given them a listen. I’m not sure why. Maybe I associated them with The Black Eyed Peas? I don’t know. As soon as I turned on this album, I knew I had made a huge mistake in not listening to The Black Keys these past few years.

This album is great. It is straightforward, earnest, bluesy and a little rough.

It is garage rock. Continue reading