June 27, 2006
Grant Lee Phillips also released a CD of 80's covers called Nineteeneighties. I haven't had a chance to listen to it, but I like me some Grant Lee and some of the songs he's done are pretty epic MKinMotion 80's songs. You owe it to Grant Lee if you only know him for his appearances on Gilmore Girls, which I don't know from experience but rather his bio I just brushed up on. Check out anything from Grant Lee Buffalo, but I will recommend anything from Mighty Joe Moon and Jubilee, his solo Virginia Creeper is also excellent.
I had three people link to me today in posts. In return for some bonus traffic from them, I in turn refer you to them.
An old friend, Erik is looking for some help with a childhood memory of animal trading cards. I couldn't resist an old-school WWF reference. Welcome friends of Sath who are not in turn friends of mine. I have to exploit Erik's MustacheMarch photo, it looks like it should be hanging in a post office in Clackamas County.
One of my favorite ladies on the planet, KRex across the pond, is busy with her job...and if you knew exactly what she did and who she does it for, you might know why she's busy these days. In lieu of her busyness, she directed people to my blog to check out the YouTube of Shining. I welcome you from across the pond, from Seattle, and from around the world. K-Rex, if your hawaii pictures hadn't been lost when I lost my hard drive, you might see yourself bikini clad right here, instead I will steal your papparazzi photo.
My Fort Wayne post caught the attention of Mitch Harper a blogger who spends his blogging time documenting all there is about Fort Wayne, Indiana. As I said to him in a reply to an email, I've been to Indianapolis, to South Bend, to Muncie, to Upland, even to Kokomo and Gas City, I've crossed his state via the 80 and the 64, but have yet to visit Fort Wayne. Maybe it will get a pushpin for Project: MKinMotion.
Speaking of Project: MKinMotion, feel free to make donations via the paypal button or by purchasing iPods or music from iTunes or Amazon.
Speaking of Google traffic, I feel sorry for the people who've stopped by over the past week or so that put "Superman Returns" into Google and found my post about Albert Pujols.
For those of you concerned, I've been working steady 8-5 at a job that doesn't allow me to even check email throughout the day, so my time to post is limited throughout the week, though I will be putting together a New Music Tuesday if I can muster the energy.
June 26, 2006
June 24, 2006
One artist who didn't have the same bad luck in the 80's was Bruce Springsteen. Born to Run made Springsteen a legend, Born in the USA made him a god. The Boss released 3 albums between 1982 and 1987 that showcase some of his greatest songwriting and despite the 80's happening, he manages to still relate to the common man, the rejected man, the lonely man, the 80's man. Bruce Springsteen is a storyteller who happens to tell his stories in song. If someone were to come up to me and say, "I understand Bruce Springsteen is supposed to be incredible, but I don't know any of his stuff, where do I start?" I would tell them to go out and buy 5 albums. 3 of the albums would be the albums of the 80's. Whether Bruce is with the highly produced E-Street band or sitting in a bathroom with a guitar, harmonica and microphone, the sound is there, the lyrics are there. You don't have to agree with his portrait of America or his politics, but from his live shows to his studio sessions, you'll have to give him your respect.
So here, whether you are a diehard fan of the Boss, a casual listener, or the person I described, here are 5 albums that need to be in your collection. They embody the American experience over the past 100 years. Bruce may be a pretty normal guy, but he writes for the true common man. In the words of Bono,
"Bruce is a very unusual rock star, really, isn't he? I mean, he hasn't done the things most rock stars do. He got rich and famous, but never embarrassed himself with all that success, did he? No drug busts, no blood changes in Switzerland. Even more remarkable, no golfing! No bad hair period, even in the '80s. No wearing of dresses in videos. No embarrassing movie roles, no pet snakes, no monkeys. No exhibitions of his own paintings. No public brawling or setting himself on fire on the weekend...They call him the Boss. Well that's a bunch of crap. He's not the boss. He works FOR us. More than a boss, he's the owner, because more than anyone else, Bruce Springsteen owns America's heart."
1975's Born to Run This album is responsible for putting Springsteen and New Jersey on the map of rock and roll. The album contains some of the classics and some lesser known gems.
Must haves within the must have: Thunder Road, Born to Run, Jungleland
1982's NebraskaA stripped down album that consists mostly of noises the Boss could make on his own in his home. The E-Street band joined him in the studio to record it, and they decided to go with the demos Bruce had recorded on his own.
Must haves within the must have: Atlantic City, Used Cars, Nebraska
1984's Born in the U.S.A. Pretty much the closest thing to pop music Bruce did in the 80's. You know the words, or at least think you know the words to the title track, but mine the record a little deeper and you'll find the true gold.
Must haves within the must have: My Hometown, Downbound Train, I'm on Fire, No Surrender
1987's Tunnel of LoveThe follow-up to Born in the USA, including the E-Street band again, this album is thicker than it first appears. If you only remember the title track, give it another listen.
Must haves within the must have: Brilliant Disguise, Tunnel of Love, One Step Up
1995's The Ghost of Tom JoadAnother album that featured Springsteen stripped down, he visits the early 20th century piece of the American Experience with immigration and emigration.
Must haves within the must have: Across the Border, The Ghost of Tom Joad, Dry Lightning
And if you're in a spending mood, I would suggest you go ahead and pick up Devils & Dust, The River, Darkness on the Edge of Town and The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.
Woody Harrelson's dad
Tupac Shakur's stepfather
Let me know if you find anything interesting about these guys. And in case you were planning your summer vacation and needed a stop in Colorado, here's the application to visit (pdf). I can't imagine a lot of smiling happening in this place.
June 22, 2006
The companion CD for the 2005 Austin City Limits festival is available for purchase. As you may remember I went to Austin for this and had a great time. Included on the CD is Jet, Theivery Corporation, Aqualung, The Frames, The Black Crowes, Mike Doughty and others. It was a great time and a great time to relive on CD.
One of my favorite moments of the Austin City Limits festival last September was Keane's set. They have energy, catchy music and led the crowd of hot, tired, dusty people on a roller coaster of sound. I bought Hopes and Fears a couple Christmas' ago down here in California because there was a degree of buzz about it and I hadn't heard that buzz in Alaska. It's a great album and works for many moods. In addition to being featured on the ACL festival CD, they followed up with Under the Iron Sea out this Tuesday. The first single "Is It Any Wonder?" has a lot of similarities to Achtung/Zooropa era U2, which was a great era for the boys. There are plenty of great moments on Iron Sea and it's highly recommended for a summer pick.
Also out Tuesday is a live album from Counting Crows. New Amsterdam was recorded in 2003 when they were touring supporting their Greatest Hits album and they deliver some of the greatest hits in this new live CD. If you've never seen them live or heard one of their live shows, this could be a great place to start.
There was a blitz of people purchasing music with last week's offering from Strays Don't Sleep, I appreciate the support for them as well as the commission that comes my way. I thank you and I offer you this tidbit...Strays Don't Sleep will be playing Late Night with Conan O'Brien. I love me some Conan and some Strays Don't Sleep. The night to stay up or to set your Tivo's or Windows Media Center's or other DVR options for June 28th. Consult your local NBC affiliate for exact times.
And here are your product links.
2005 Austin City Limits Festival (iTunes)
Keane - Under the Iron Sea (iTunes)
Counting Crows - New Amsterdam (iTunes)
and for good measure:
Strays Don't Sleep - Strays Don't Sleep (iTunes)
1. What is my day going to be like?
“Caught With a Smile on My Face” The Jayhawks
2. How does the world see you?
“Bell Boy” The Who (If this is any indication of how the world views me, I’m collecting tips)
3. Will I have a happy life?
“Monkey” Counting Crows (Monkey is a good answer to any yes or no question, but if 4. I'm stuck in the lonely spiral Adam's whining about, that sucks)
4. What do my friends really think of me?
“Frail and Bedazzled” Smashing Pumpkins
5. Do people secret lust after me?
“Whatever Happened” The Strokes
6. How can I make myself happy?
“The Lone Wolf” Kathleen Edwards
7. What should I do with my life?
8. What am I afraid of?
“God Only Knows” The Beach Boys (I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried)
9. What is my biggest regret?
“I used to be the house that you lived in
When you moved they cut down the maple tree
I carved your name into”
10. What is my biggest extravagance?
“A Million Miles Away” The Plimsouls
11. What is some good advice for me?
“Dreaming in Two Hour Drives” Teitur
12. How will I be remembered?
“Shelter” Ray LaMontagne
13. What should my theme song be?
“Bad Medicine” Bon Jovi
“Your love is like bad medicine,
Bad medicine is what I need”
14. What song will play at my funeral?
“Double Cure” Vigilantes of Love
15. If I could change one thing about my life, what would it be?
“Should I Stay or Should I Go?” The Clash
June 21, 2006
1. Mint Royale - From Rusholme With Love
2. Neilson Hubbard - Paper Star (live)
3. Jose Gonzales - Save Your Day
4. Uncle Tupelo - Nothing
5. Death Cab for Cutie - The Sound of Settling (live)
6. Claude Shalle - Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre) --You'd recognize it if you heard it.
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers - I Could Have Lied
8. Oasis - The Girl in the Dirty Shirt
9. Turin Brakes - Rain City
10. Notorious BIG - Big Poppa -- I put this on someone's CD, but I can't remember who or why.
11. Loverboy - Working for the Weekend
12. Led Zeppelin - The Ocean
13. The Beatles - Three Cool Cats
14. Boz Scaggs - Payday -- I can't put my finger on Boz's genre, but I know it's smooth.
15. The Ramones - Rockaway Beach
16. John Mayer - Back to You (live)
17. Live - Mother Earth is a Vicious Crowd
18. Ryan Adams - Chin Up, Cheer Up
And that's 1.1 hours.
June 18, 2006
Nicolas Cage or Tom Cruise?
Ozzy Osbourne or Kenny Loggins?
Barry Williams (TV's Greg Brady) or Terry "Hulk" Hogan?
Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters) or Nick Lachey?
Brett Favre or John Smoltz?
Renee Zellweger or Winona Ryder?
Johnny Depp or John Cusack?
Matthew Fox (Jack Sheppard on Lost) or Colin Farrell?
Andy Milonakis or Ashton Kutcher?
Will Farrell or Will Smith?
Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
So how did you do?
June 17, 2006
Critics did not like Elizabethtown, but I knew I wanted to see it from the first trailer I saw. That was probably close to a year ago. Maybe a trailer before "War of the Worlds." As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm a big fan of Cameron Crowe's work. Yes, even maybe especially, Jerry Maguire. So last night I finally watched Elizabethtown to complete the Cameron Crowe library. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it on so many levels. You may have seen it and not liked it, but here I give you 10 reasons to like it.
10. Orlando Bloom plays a floppy haired kid from Oregon. Great helicopter shots of Portland.
9. Cousin Jesse - "I teach my kids about the things that really matter. I will teach them about Abraham Lincoln and Ronnie Van Zandt, because they are equally important in my house."
8. The Soundtrack is fantastic. Ryan Adams at the right times, My Morning Jacket as Ruckus, Tom Petty, Elton John and some original songs to the film also. TMF said it was, "only a extended mix tape with moving pictures." He used it as a derogatory comment, but I think it's a well made music video.
7. "Rusty's Learning to Listen" video tape.
6. Ashton Kutcher who was originally cast as Drew dropped out early in filming.
5. Susan Sarandon. I've had a long term problem with Susan Sarandon and haven't liked her in movies with few exceptions (Moonlight Mile and Bull Durham), but in this movie I liked her character and I think she did a good job being uncomfortable and in grief.
4. Chuck Hasboro or Chuck and Cindy.
3. Cameron Crowe must have infiltrated my hard drive before it fried last week because I think he stole some of my ideas. At least now I don't have to re-write a couple of my stories.
2. The Ultimate Road Trip.
1. Claire Colburn. Kirsten Dunst's character is a quirky southern girl that has great conversation and makes the ultimate road trip compilation. You're forced to fall in love with her.
So it's just your basic Oregon boy meets southern girl in random serendipitous circumstances surrounded by great scenery, characters and music. Nothing I can relate to at all. I highly recommend this movie. If you've seen it already, isn't it time to give it another chance?
June 16, 2006
I stumbled onto a video montage of Cameron Crowe's films on the internet yesterday and it got me thinking about this guy's work. With Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky and the yet to be seen Elizabethtown, he's got a pretty good set of movies. He also wrote Fast Times at Ridgemount High, which may make up for Vanilla Sky being a remake. He won the Oscar for Original Screenplay for Almost Famous. There are two things that are clear when thinking through his work. First, his movies are quotable. Secondly he has some great soundtracks, not just the CD's that come out with the movie poster as the cover, but the songs he uses in the films all seem to be part of the fabric of the film. Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," Springsteen's "Secret Garden," Elton John's "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" all are significant songs away from these movies, but who can hear "In Your Eyes" and not think of Lloyd Dobler holding up the stereo? So, here's the challenge, post a comment with a quote from a Cameron Crowe movie to prove my point.
June 15, 2006
So, not only is it Thursday, but I also thought that Tuesday was the 20th; hence the timewarp. Thinking it was the 20th had me overlooking one of the highest anticipated albums of my year. For at least a year, I've been hearing tracks leaked from Strays Don't Sleep's self titled album. If you remember I wrote a lot about Strays when I had the chance to see them open for Josh Rouse here and here (There are also some tracks available on their myspace page). I can't say enough about these songs. They're beautiful, they're heart wrenching, they're well written, well performed and well produced. Do yourself a favor and spend the $10.89. I purchased the tracks I didn't already have with some leftover credits in the Music Store.
Strays Don't Sleep - Strays Don't Sleep (iTunes)
10.Tori AmosFor proof see: "Silent All These Years," "Cornflake Girl," "Sleeps With Butterflies"
9. Fiona Apple For proof see: "Criminal," "O Sailor," "Slow Like Honey," and "Fast as You Can"
8. Natalie Merchant For proof see: "Carnival," "I'm Not the Man" [10,000 Maniacs], "Wonder"
7. Lisa Loeb For proof see: "Stay (I Missed You)," "Falling in Love," "Truthfully," and "Do You Sleep?"
6. Lucinda Williams (yes, I'm in the audience somewhere in this photo) For proof see: "Drunken Angel," "Righteously," "Passionate Kisses" and "Changed the Locks"
5. Victoria WilliamsFor proof see: "Crazy Mary," "Opelousas," "Lights," "Why Look at the Moon."
4. Sarah McLachlanFor proof see: "Building a Mystery," "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy," "Good Enough," "World on Fire." (She is a collaborative songwriter with Pierre Marchand)
3. Carole King
For proof see: "I Feel the Earth Move", "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?", and the James Taylor popularized "You've Got A Friend"
2. Aimee MannFor proof see: "Wise Up," "Goodbye To You," "Voices Carry," ['Til Tuesday] and "Pavlov's Bell."
1. Joni MitchellFor proof see: "Big Yellow Taxi," "Both Sides Now," "Blue," and "California."
According to TMF, left off the list:
Johnny Cash (sorry man, it's best living songwriters, didn't you get the news in Valdez?)
Terry Scott Taylor
I think that phrase I used before "You can't get much better than _______" keeps resonating with a lot of my music. I'll put together the first installment of featured songwriter and see how it goes. I'm also intrigued by songwriting teams ala the Johns from TMBG, Olson/Louris in the 90s, Farrar/Tweedy, Sarah McLachlan/Pierre Marchand, etc. I'm gonna see if I can get some real responses from people who are actually on these lists to contribute. It's an overlooked art and the craft deserves some attention.
June 14, 2006
Before there was the Office (U.S.), there was the Office (UK); Before there was the Office UK, there was Office Space. Believe it or not before Office Space, people said phrases exploited by these movies regularly without doing it in a way to reference a movie or TV show. People actually used to say "Workin' hard or hardly workin'?" or "Someone's got a case of the Mondays" or anything Blumberg says without saying it as a joke. The cover sheet on the TPS report, and the guy who claims someone took his stapler, and the paper jamming fax machine, and the few minutes of actual work that one can get away with accomplishing in an 8-10 hour shift are all based on realities. Now if someone says they have to go meet with the Bobs or that they're gonna have to play catch up most likely they're referencing the movie. What I'm looking for is a little audience participation...what are the phrases in offices today that are the cliches and comedy bits of tomorrow. I will even start you off with this gem that drives me crazy:
"But at the end of the day, ___________"
So put them in the comments and say you remember when people actually said it in seriousness and not as a joke.
June 13, 2006
1. Bob Dylan
2. Neil Young
3. Bruce Springsteen
4. Tom Waits
5. Paul McCartney
6. Leonard Cohen
7. Brian Wilson
8. Elvis Costello
9. Joni Mitchell
12.The Rolling Stones
Personally, though I might agree with the list of 100 in it's entirety, I don't agree with the order. Bob Dylan is at the top of my list, but I'd put Springsteen at 2 and McCartney at 3. Paul Simon would jump up.
I know you're all wondering about others on the list so here's a few highlights.
U2 is 18
Van Morrison is 20
David Bowie is 16
Jeff Tweedy is 24
REM is 26
Tom Petty 29
Ryan Adams 43
Jackson Browne 45
Bill Mallonee 65
Michael Jackson 72
Pink Floyd 80
They Might Be Giants 84
Drive-By Truckers 91
Joseph Arthur 93
Josh Ritter 97
T Bone Burnett 100
As I read through the magazine, a phrase keeps coming out of my head..."You can't get much better than ______." When you think about songwriting and what some of these people have put together, it's pretty unbelievable.
So here's MKinMotion's top 20 with all my biases and personal feelings infused.
20. Kris Kristofferson
19. They Might Be Giants
18. Roger Waters
14. David Bowie
13. Jackson Browne
12. Tom Waits
10. Adam Duritz
9. Jeff Tweedy
8. Ryan Adams
7. Van Morrison
6. Neil Young
4. Paul Simon
3. Paul McCartney
2. Bruce Springsteen
1. Bob Dylan
Send in your own list if you want to MKinMotion[at]gmail[dot]com. I'll be putting together a Wednesday Q&A for tomorrow, so if you want to be included, get your questions in today.
"There were a few weeks in a row where I couldn't get excited about any of the new releases, so I held of on promoting something that I wasn't excited about, call it blogtegrity. Perhaps when a great album comes out, I'll feature it on a Tuesday post, but until then, I'm out of the rhythm of daily posts and weekly release posts."
I will say that I'm very excited about the new Keane album and the new Counting Crows live album. Both are supposedly released today, but neither are available at the iTunes music store, so maybe I've got bad info. Old 97's are also releasing a greatest hits album, but I'm still not sure how I feel about greatest hits albums...let alone greatest hits albums from bands who've only had a few albums.
Well, that's all. Has anyone listened to the summer songs file? If so let me know your thoughts. The way I had to post it because of it's size doesn't let me know at all whether anyone has even touched it.
June 11, 2006
Of course, I love the first 5 albums from these guys. Murmur, Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction, Lifes Rich Pageant and even Dead Letter Office show what it was like to be perhaps the first Southern Alternative Rock band in the 80s. There are very rich portraits of the South mixed with politics and their own struggle to break out of the South. In 1987, they teamed up with producer Scott Litt for the first time and put together Document. Suddenly songs like "One I Love" and "It's the End of the World..." were on the radio all across America. And though I don't discredit their career up until this point, in 1987 R.E.M. had arrived. Soon after Document, they released Eponymous which was a sort of greatest hits album and also the last album they did for IRS records. It was almost as if the combination of meeting Scott Litt, switching labels and providing closure with Eponymous was setting the table for what was to come next.
In late 1988, R.E.M. released Green. Then 1991 saw them release Out of Time, followed by 1992's Automatic for the People and 1994's Monster. A string of 4 albums that any musician would envy in 6 years. Critics and fans have knocks on each of these albums for different reasons: too commercial, too rock-n-roll, too folksy, too this, too that. I happen to hold these 4 albums among some of the best albums to come out in that 6 year period. Still to this day, I'll type R.E.M. into the search box in iTunes and click (with CTRL) these four albums, shuffle and let go for a couple hours, and actually as I wrote that, I built a playlist so I don't have to take those steps. Both musically and lyrically these albums stand both the test of time and the test of MKinMotion music snobbery. For iTunes Music Store or for Amazon, click the appropriate links below.
R.E.M. - Green - 1988
Hit Songs: Stand, Orange Crush
Highly recommended tracks: Turn You Inside-Out, You Are the Everything, Pop Song 89
R.E.M. - Out of Time - 1991
Hit Songs: Losing My Religion, Shiny Happy People, Radio Song
Highly recommended tracks: Low, Country Feedback, Belong, Near Wild Heaven
R.E.M. - Automatic for the People - 1992
Hit Songs: Man on the Moon, Drive, Everybody Hurts
Highly recommended tracks: Try Not To Breathe, Nightswimming, Star Me Kitten
R.E.M. - Monster - 1994
Hit Songs: What's the Frequency Kenneth?, Star 69, Bang and Blame
Highly recommended tracks: Crush with Eyeliner, Strange Currencies, Tongue
And to show tribute to the early years, here's a couple of mp3's of early stuff.
So. Central Rain from Reckoning
Talk About the Passion from Murmur
June 8, 2006
"Summer Songs: Volume 1" playlist (download the file) [right-click and chose "save as"]
Links below are to iTunes Music Store
1988 – George Michael – Faith
I spent two weeks in the summer of 1988 traveling around the country with my family. I had just finished the 7th grade. This song made plenty of appearances in the tape player.
1989 – Aerosmith – What it Takes
I remember counting the “Let it Go’s” at the end of the song. My concentration no longer lets me keep track of them.
1990 – World Party – Put The Message in the Box
Lots of great music came out of the late 80’s early nineties, but World Party’s Goodbye Jumbo was one of the first “Alternative” albums I bought.
1991 – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Taste the Pain
The summer of ‘91 was spent enjoying 95-cent-a-gallon gasoline in my 1979 Subaru wagon. Riche and I enjoyed lots of Super Big Gulps, Chilitos and Mother’s Milk.
1992 – Guns ‘n Roses – Yesterdays
The last great summer of high school had the BLB running in lots of different directions, but our first summer together, and how can this song not bring back fond memories of whatever you were doing in the summer of 1992.
1993 – U2 – Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
Still one of the greatest songs ever written. The summer of 1993 had lots of U2 fans scratching their heads at Zooropa. Many consider it a throwaway album but I think it still gets tracks onto the MKinMotion greatest U2 songs.
1994 – Johnny Cash – Drive On
I spent about a month with The Mad Fishicist and his family in Los Angeles in the summer of 1994. One of the greatest camping trips of my life took The Mad Fishicist, MKinMotion, The Chindo and characters from their stories in the flesh to the famous Hunter Mountain in the Mojave Desert. Good times were had by all, guaranteed. Johnny Cash was making a comeback with us, the young generation, and warming the heart of The Mad Fishicist’s uncle.
1995 – Counting Crows – Sullivan Street
I don’t remember much about the summer of 1995, but I do remember listening to August and Everything After plenty.
1996 – The Cranberries – Dreams
This is one of the great summer songs for a few years, but a special time during the summer of 1996. It makes me think how strange it was that I was ever that young.
1997 – Third Eye Blind – Good For You
Plenty of guitar for those of you that started to think I was going soft.
1998 – The Sundays – Summertime
An anthem for making iced lattes and Screamer shakes.
1999 – LEN – Steal My Sunshine
In another life, this was my theme, it’s still catchy and bright 7 years after the fact.
2000 – The Jayhawks – I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
The summer of 2000 is a bit of a blur now. I do remember The Jayhawks putting out Smile, and you better believe it did the trick to make me smile.
2001 – Wilco – Monday
That summer of 2001 on the road definitely would have developed a great left arm tan, if it weren’t for all the work done in the sunshine. A great song on a great album by a great album.
2002 – Radiohead – The Bends (No iTunes)
Summer of 2002 involved a 3000 mile drive from Portland, Oregon to Anchorage, Alaska and all the weight that it carried. Without going too deep, this song stayed in the 6 disc changer of the Jetta the whole way up there.
2003 – Counting Crows – Holiday in Spain
Hard Candy needed a store bought copy and a burned copy for me in 2003. I think I wore them both out. This song summed it all up at the time, now it just makes me wish I were at Costa del Sol.
2004 – Matthew Ryan – Fathers & Compromise
Not available for your purchase, but definitely a beautiful song. I’m not sure I’ve scratched the surface of what this song is all about. This is a live track taken from his 2004 tour that I serendipitously saw in Portland while on vacation. Such a talent!
2005 – David Byrne – Glass, Concrete & Stone
A fun song that forces you to move at least some part of your body. Has a lot of meaning for my summer of 2005. Everything’s possible when you’re an animal.
2006 – Guillemots – Trains to Brazil
A great song from a band about to explode. Maybe this year’s Arcade Fire.
The third job this all takes me back to is the two years I put in as a barista at Coffee People in Portland. Watching the leisure crowd that could somehow spend hours in a coffee shop with their laptop typing who knows what. Between 1998 and 2000, there wasn’t wifi or blogging (yeah, I know there was, but not on any large scale) or my iPod to drown out the steaming of milk and chatter of millionaires (I just had to add iPod, wifi and blogging to my dictionary, so that tells you something).
I had a lot of thoughts yesterday when Blogger was down for most of the day about what to type up, so this is my chance to catch up on the thoughts I scribbled down in my black spiral notebook. Stay posted.
June 6, 2006
Many people have come up with creative things that the D in D-Day stands for, the truth being that it doesn't really stand for anything. D-Day was and is a term that the military uses both to keep true dates secret and to allow variable days. In order to get the full effect the Allied armies were going for, the invasion at Normandy had to be kept secret. Even the soldiers themselves didn't learn where or what they were preparing for until the last minute. This the date was discussed as D-Day H-Hour. The plans were put on hold for a day due to weather. Many other operations were planned as diversions for the Axis intelligence to learn of including an invasion through Norway or the South of France. In one operation dummys were dropped with parachutes to draw the attention and divert forces from the true drop zones.
53,700 soldiers on the Allied side were killed during this invasion of Europe, while over 150,000 were wounded. Today as you sip your Starbucks coffee or lift a frosty beer, think of these men who ran into enemy fire, some who threw themselves out of airplanes into exploding anti-aircraft shells. Think of these heroes who gave up everything and think of the heroes of today who are putting themselves in the middle of a messy situation so that liberty can be extended to people who cried out for it. Warfare may have changed significantly in the last 62 years, but the heart of a hero remains the same and is something none of us should take for granted, regardless of our politics or personal ideals. God bless the men who went to battle then and God bless our troops today.
June 4, 2006
Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy Up The Girl (iTunes)
Imagine if the music community held Bono's charisma, charm and looks against him while the band was trying to make it in the early 80's. They might have turned out like Goo Goo Dolls. I first heard of them when they released the single "Name," which I still think is a great song. When A Boy Named Goo was released in 1995 with "Name" getting them noticed, they'd been releasing music for 8 years. So, when Dizzy Up The Girl came out, it was make or break for them. Considering their song "Iris" had gotten so much attention from "City of Angels" there was no doubt that the following album would do well. With songs like "Black Balloon" and "Slide" it secretly made it into my library. The songs still come up on shuffles and I even put one of the tracks on a CD I made last summer. Goo Goo Dolls have released a few more albums since Dizzy, but none have seen the commercial success like they had in the late 90s.
Matchbox 20 - Yourself or Someone Like You (iTunes)
I'll admit, I, like you, dismissed Matchbox 20 the second I heard them. It wasn't until years later that I gave them a chance. I borrowed a couple of their CDs from a friend and thought I was just borrowing fuel for the fire I'd been burning against this friend for calling them his favorite band. No one has Matchbox 20 as their favorite band, do they? The first thing I looked at when I had the CD was who wrote the songs. I expected perhaps the guitar player or someone outside of the band to be writing the songs for these pretty boys to play and sing. Much to my chagrine, Rob Thomas, the king of pretty boys wrote the majority of their songs. Everybody has heard "Push," "3 A.M." and "Real World" from the 1996 album, but if you scratch below the surface as I forced myself to do in 2003, you will find some really gems. I highly recommend "Kody," "Back 2 Good" and "Long Day." Since my experience of trying to hate Matchbox 20, I've accumulated their three albums plus Rob Thomas' solo album. Definately not my favorite band, but some great music. There, I said it.
Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience (iTunes)
I think if it weren't for the time that Gin Blossoms came around, they'd have a better reputation. The songwriting on New Miserable Experience is very taut. With the hits like "Hey Jelousy," and "Found Out About You," songs like "Until I Fall Away" and "Allison Road" were overlooked as the gems they are. If you don't know anything about Gin Blossoms, just think about this. Imagine yourself as a guitar player with a knack for songwriting...you write a couple of great songs, form a band, then get fired from that band because you can't stay sober. Tormented by the success the band is having with his songs and still struggling with his alcoholism, Doug Hopkins took his life in December of 1993. Hopkins wrote "Hey Jelousy" and "Found Out About You." His suicide was just another charge in Gin Blossoms' move up the charts. They had a hit with "Til I Hear it From You" on the Empire Records Soundtrack and released another album in 1996, but failed to hang on to the success that New Miserable Experience brought them. They're releasing an album later this year 10 years after Congratulations...I'm Sorry.
To go along with the iTunes links, here are a few samples for you to download.
Goo Goo Dolls - Black Balloon
Matchbox 20 - Back 2 Good
Gin Blossoms - Until I Fall Away
As promised Trixter's "Give it to Me Good" in case you forgot.