Friday, June 29, 2012

Music Velocity

Time to catch up on Music In, which will be followed by a discussion of Music Velocity.

  • "Slipstream", Bonnie Raitt. Man, what is not to like. She has such a fabulous voice. So many completely catchy guitar riffs. It's interesting, she does a cover of "Right Down The Line", by Gerry Rafferty. You really wonder how someone of her stature decides to do a cover. Like on Prince's "Emancipation" albums, where he covered "Betcha By Golly Wow!", "La-La(Means I Love You)", "One Of Us", and "I Can't Make U Love Me" -- the 1st covers he ever did (of course, he was trying to get out of his Sony? contract). Notice the Bonnie Raitt tune there -- but somehow I don't think her version had "U" in the title. We will revisit the covers issue later. 4 stars for "Slipstream", major props for Ms. Raitt.
  • "Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation)", Counting Crows. My youngest told me she no longer listens to Counting Crows. They did do that Shrek song after all -- and I for one completely quit listening to Phil Collins once he started shilling for Disney. But, I think that CC still has some authenticity, and some excellent guitarists. However, sometimes the lead singer Adam Duritz, starts doing talking and other stuff which tells me he's bored. He needs to get that shit reined in.

    Back to the topic of covers. They cover "Amie", Pure Prairie League, and "You Ain't Going Nowhere", The Byrds. I still have them in the Southern Rock genre, those are OK there, but, not totally compelling picks for covers??? BTW, I have like 4 of the 1st 6 Byrds albums on vinyl. Ripping those to MP3 is definitely on my stack.

    3 stars, 4 stars for "Like Teenage Gravity" and "The Ballad of El Goodo" -- which has banjo, yes!

  • "Stars and Satellites", Trampled by Turtles. I think the genre for these guys, and Fleet Foxes, and Mumford and Sons, and OCMS, is "Power Folk". Enjoyable stuff, 3 stars.
  • "In The Time Of Gods", Dar Williams. I have a fair bit of her earlier stuff, and I saw her live at Woodsongs. Good tunes, no real standouts, 3 stars.
  • Butterfly Boucher, eponymous. I think my friend David gave me one of her early works. This is a nice effort. I thought maybe there would be 1-3 4 star tracks -- maybe the 1st track "5678!" -- but it wound up all being 3 stars.
  • Delbert McClinton, "Keeper Of The Flame" (1979) and "Live From Austin" (1989). Both of these reminded me of Paul Butterfield "East-West" -- I heard that, I'm going "Damn -- that's half of Patty Butcher's material". There are several songs off of both these that are permanent parts of the repertoires of good players that I've played with. 3 star, with several 4 stars for the ones I've enjoyed playing. "Standin' On Shakey Ground" (the last hit of The Temptations in 1975) and "Givin' It Up For Your Love" are in my book.
  • Norah Jones, "Little Broken Hearts". My first couple of listens to this were totally, "meh". But it really grew on me. Noteworthy is the creepy "Miriam", about murdering a female rival who messed with her man. I read an interview with her, she's saying "Oh, it was just a "murder somebody" song -- traditional" -- I don't know. Really comes across as some seriously bad feelings towards another female who f#cked her boyfriend. 4 stars.
  • The Lumineers, eponymous. Another Power Folk band. I think some of my young friends are totally into these guys. Nice tunes, no standouts. 3 stars.
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, "Soul Time!". If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times, there's nothing as fun as playing in a funk band. Ms. Jones has played Lexington a couple times in the last few years and gotten rave reviews, and rightfully so. Man, does she open the can of funk. Totally kick-ass. 4 stars.
  • Yes, "Fly From Here". So Amazon (still looking for an alternative) has this as a $5 special. I go for it. It is totally excellent. Totally Yes. But I'm like, it is ~50% evolved from 1970 Yes. Shouldn't it be like 400% evolved from 1970? Very interesting listening. Yes is definitely added to the list to be burned from vinyl. 3 stars.
  • Ben Harper, "Diamonds On The Inside (2003). Another $5 Amazon special. I remember some of my kids liking Ben, and having a decent impression of him. Very nice collection of tunes, a variety of genres including reggae. 4 stars, except for a couple which are a little too raucous for my current years. Sad but true, heavy rockish doesn't work for me anymore. And Metal is Right Out.
  • Monica Lionheart, "Indian Summer". Holy crap, another great new Brooklyn artist! IMHO, Brooklyn is indeed the coolest city in the USA. And my daughter Erica is now the proud owner of an apartment in Park Slope 2 block west of the Civil War Victory monument. (What? The Civil War is over? The North won?) This album has an excellent variety of orchestration. The hook was planted deep in the 1st track, "Air And Sea", which has a very nice, reverbed pedal steel track as the main ambience. 4 stars.
  • John Mayer, "Born and Raised". He's a great guitarist, too bad he just seems to come across in his People Magazine personal life as such a dork. Maybe we'd work harder to ignore that, but then there's songs where he bemoans how hard his life as a multimillion celebrity is. Please. 3 stars.
  • Regina Spektor, "What We Saw From The Cheap Seats". I have the rest of her work and I like it, but somehow, I was expecting that somehow she should mature somewhat as time passed. In particular, sometimes she does this teenager cutesy stuff in her vocals which I would say is becoming inappropriate, as she is now 32 YO. But, I guess it is still distinctive. 3 stars.
So, onto the topic of Music Velocity. We just reviewed music acquired from 4/10/12 to 5/29/12. So that's 49 days, 7 weeks, in which I ingested 15 albums, 173 tracks. Let's do the math! 2 new albums per week, 3.5 new tracks per day.

It seems at times like it's too much. It's like there is a river of music flowing through my mind. I am notorious for not particularly remembering new recent events of import. Maybe it's because the stream of music washes it all away.

Most of us resonate most strongly with the music of our puberty. I continued to acquire music for 8-9 years after that, before I in quick order had 4 kids and forgot about music pretty much for 25 years. I restarted with music in maybe 1997. Since then, it has come to fill my mind. But, I'm wondering if, it's too much so. So I'm trying to slow down on new music acquisition. But, come on, a new Brooklyn band? I've gots to be there!

1 comment:

Christine B. said...

My latest list is: Walk the Moon (from Cincinnati, I believe), the Lumineers, the Shins "Port of Morrow," and Imagine Dragons. I didn't know Counting Crows had put out a new album - will have to check out! I used to not be able to get enough from them.