Sunday, October 01, 2017


Let's do Music Out 1st. Steve & Chris played Bigg Blue Martini 2x in September, and Patchen Pub September 30. The next gig we had booked was J. Render's Southern Table & Bar November 25, the Saturday after Xgiving. Really wanted something for October and/or early November. So was very pleased when Friday September 29 Kristen from Grillfish called to book us for the next Friday, October 6. This will make 3 weekends in a row that we have had a gig, so I am feeling like I have done a better job of hustling us up gigs. Hopefully we can get Patchen or Grillfish again for early November.

Moving on, to 2 months of Music In. A meta-comment here. I rate albums mostly 3 or 4 stars. Occasionally a 2 star, for something I was given, or a local artist who asked me to buy their album. My iTunes currently has 19,337 tracks in it. 3 star and up, 16,022 tracks, is what would go on my iPod. 4 stars & up, 4,781 tracks, is what would go on my iPhone, which now is mostly what I listen to, via Bluetooth, in my car.

But I recently upgraded my phone from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 7, and from 64 GB storage to 256 GB storage. So now, I could put pretty much all my music (2 star & up is 17.594 tracks, 105 GB) on my phone. But, I am keeping the distinction as is.

However, knowing that I'm not going to overflow my phone with 4 star tunes, as I was before the upgrade, has resulted in some grade inflation. Even if an album is somewhat disappointing and no catchy tunes have jumped out at me, if I feel it has potential, I will go with 4 stars rather than 3.

  • Broken Social Scene, "Hug Of Thunder", 2017. Very energetic, a nice album, 4 stars. More commentary in the following item. Here's track 2.

  • Arcade Fire, "Everything Now", 2017. So we have 2 of the big 3 of Canadian large rock bands: Broken Social Scene (Toronto), and Arcade Fire (Montreal). The 3rd, New Pornographers (Vancouver), I believe we had last Music In. I think this Arcade Fire album is the weakest of the 3. But, for potential and inflation, I will rate it 4 stars. Ha ha, trying to find a track to leave, #2 "Everything Now", totally sounds like Abba. Wow, listening to all the tracks & not being able to find 1 I really want to share => 3 stars, not 4. Down it goes.
  • Gene Clark, "No Other", 1974. Ripping the 1st 4 Byrds albums, I realized that the songs I liked the best were not the Dylan or Roger McGuinn tunes - they were the Gene Clark tunes. "She Don't Care About Time", is a perfect example, completely catchy pop with great harmony vocals. So I thought I should check out his solo work after leaving the Byrds in early 1966.

    Reading his Wikipedia page, his solo album that seemed to be best received was "No Other", 1974. Only 8 tracks. I was initially disappointed, because, like The Byrds, he seems to have turned to country rock rather than catchy pop. But the album grew on me after several listens, to where it got 4 stars. Here's track 4, "Strength of Strings".

  • Gene Clark & The Gosdin Brothers, "Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers", 1967. After mostly failing to find catchy pop tunes with "No Other", I thought, well, let's go back to Gene Clark's 1st effort after leaving The Byrds, which lead me to this album. 17 tracks, 4 of which are alternative versions. The Gosdin Brothers sang backup and got a bunch of credit for it. Still more early country rock than catchy pop, plus some psychedelic overtones (usually a bad sign). Still, I'll give it 4 stars. Here's a good tune.

  • Joni Mitchell, "Wild Things Run Fast", 1982. I noticed I was missing this Joni album. As she is the greatest female singer/songwriter of the 20th century, it behooved me to check out this album. Nothing really stood out. Incomprehensively, she includes "Unchanged Melody" to make a medley out of track #1, "Chinese Cafe". I hate medleys. 3 stars.
  • Isham Jones, "Swingin' Down The Lane", 1921-1947. My middle sister Carol, after having been divorced for 10 years, decided to get remarried, yay! She wanted me to sing/play a song for her wedding. I gave her the old standards I had done before, she ixnayed, suggested her favorite karaoke song (she is a karaoke queen), it was a woman's song, I would have had trouble singing it. So she then suggested this old standard. She even supplied this video, which very surprisingly included the intro. Mostly these intros get lost over the years.

    So I worked it up, I thought it would be the 1st dance or something, it wound up being part of the ceremony, oops! It went fine, except for the 20 seconds I froze trying to remember the 3rd line of the 1st verse of the intro ("why do I sigh?").

    I think I've mentioned before how much I love doing music archeology. I researched the song. So interesting, it was written in 1924 by Isham Jones, lyrics by Gus Kahn. Jones also wrote "You're In The Army Now" in 1917 and "I'll See You In My Dreams" in 1924.

    There were no MP3 downloads available, so I ordered this CD. 23 tracks. Instrumentals are "Isham Jones & His Orchestra". Vocalists include Curt Massey, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Frank Bessinger, and the always popular Keller Sisters.

    Really a lot of fun. 4 stars.

    Here's a bonus video, of Curt Massey, playing with his family band The Westerners the song I sang at my dad's memorial service. It is embedded in some totally cheesy comedy, and followed by - a bouncing ball singalong, FTW!

  • Kaki King, "Legs to Make us Longer", 2012. Somehow I'd forgotten about Ms. King. So I decided to do some backfill. On this album she returns to guitar virtuoso type stuff, rather than edgy alternative tunes with vocals, which I prefer. Very good stuff, but, 3 stars.
  • Little Silver, "Somewhere You Found My Name", 2017. I think Rolling Stone recommended this album. Good album, alternative country/southern rock, but nothing totally catchy. 3 stars.
  • Randy Newman, "Dark Matter", 2017. This album got great reviews. Some thoughtful content, but so much of it sounds like ... a Disney movie soundtrack. So, 3 stars, but 4 for "Putin"

    I play 2 Newman tunes: "You Can Leave Your Hat On", and "Have You Seen My Baby?". He writes great lyrics. I'd love to do this song, but the tempo changes make that hard. Maybe OK with Steve & Chris?

  • Grizzly Bear, "Painted Ruins", 2017. Probably my favorite band of the last 5 years. 2 5-star songs from them. Nothing as striking from this album. 2 weird videos so far. But they still get 4 stars based on their body of work. Here's the 1st track, "Wasted Acres".

  • Iron & Wine, "Beast Epic", 2017. Very listenable tunes, 4 stars. Here's "Call It Dreaming".

That makes Music In current through the end of August.

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