Category Archives: Music

I Listen to Music: Week of 3/6/16

Here’s a log of the music I listened to for the week of March 6, 2016:

Car Album of the Week: Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect

The I Don’t Cares – “Outta My System”
This is Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield. Their debut album as The I Don’t Cares, Wild Stab, was released in January.

Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet – “Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young Cover Live on The Tonight Show)”
I was reminded of the Hoffs/Sweet team-up because of The I Don’t Cares. They have released two covers albums together.

Canned Heat – “Let’s Work Together” and “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Live at the Monterey Pop Festival)”
Why a co-worker and I started talking about Canned Heat I don’t remember, but part of our discussion was a disagreement about the songs Bob “The Bear” Hite, or Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson sang, and who we liked better.

Julien Baker  – NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Baker is currently criss-crossing the country on tour, and stopped by the NPR studios in Washington DC for the latest installment of their Tiny Desk series.

Laura Nyro and LaBelle – “Nowhere to Run (Martha and the Vandellas Cover)”
The CBC DJ who played this track failed to mention that LaBelle is backing up Nyro. He also said, “Van-duh-las.”

Florence + The Machine – “Ship to Wreck
The next song after Nyro. I’m not going to switch stations if this song is on.

Liars – “Grown Men Don’t Fall In a River, Just Like That
My oldest literally fell in a river, so a co-worker passed along this song.

Skeletonwitch – “Well of Despair” and “Repulsive Salvation
New song with a new singer from this Ohio metal group. The second song is to remind myself what the last singer sounded like, and I think I like him better.

Head Wound City – “Scraper
Members of The Blood Brothers, The Locust, and Nick Zinner from Yeah Yeah Yeahs comprise this grindcore supergroup. They have a new album, A New Wave of Violence, coming out in May.

Blue Oyster Cult – “Burning for You
Tuesday was primary day here in Michigan, so I wondered if Bernie Sanders ever used this song at his rallies…

Mike Watt – “Burning for You (Blue Oyster Cult Cover)”
…which led to this odd Mike Watt cover.

Mexrrissey – “Estuvo Bien (Morrissey Cover)”
Did you know that The Smiths and Morrissey, in particular, have a very loyal Latino following? Well you do now, and here’s a link to a Spin article by Chuck Klosterman with additional information.

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop – “Valley Clouds”
New song and video from this collaboration. They’ll be starting a tour in Ann Arbor in May.

Iggy Pop – “Lust for Life” and Post Pop Depression
NPR First Listen is streaming Pop’s latest (and last?) album. It’s his best in years, and he’s heading out on tour with Josh Homme later this month. Post Pop Depression is available on March 18.

The Beatles – “In My Life
Beatles producer George Martin passed away at the age of 90 on March 8. The harpsichord sounding bridge is actually a sped up recording of Martin playing a piano.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “Gamma Knife” and Live on KEXP
I have found my new favorite band. These psychedelic weirdos from Australia will be releasing their eighth album in four years, Nonagon Infinity, on April 29.

Louis Armstrong – “The Beat Generation”
An article about the Beats on Gawker contained a video of Louis Armstrong singing this song over the credits to the 1959 movie appropriately titled, The Beat Generation.

Click here for a Spotify playlist of these songs.

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I Listen to Music: Week of 2/21/16

Here’s a log of the music I listened to for the week of February 21, 2016:

Car Album of the Week: Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
This album will most likely be in my car’s CD player for the next few weeks. This album is so brilliant, it really is shocking that it lost to Taylor Swift’s 1989 at the Grammys, but we are talking about an organization that once gave a Best Metal/Hard Rock Performance award to Jethro Tull.

Hevisaurus – “Juranoid,” “Saurusarmeija,” and “Viimeinen mammutti”
Heavy metal + Dinosaurs + Finland = Awesome. This band has released six albums, selling over 170,000 copies, and winning a Finnish Grammy for Best Children’s Album.

Goo Goo Dolls – “Long Way Down” and “Ain’t That Unusual” from A Boy Named Goo
The Goos are touring this summer with Collective Soul which led to a discussion at work about how they once kind of sounded like The Replacements, and these two tracks as examples.

John Carpenter – “Distant Dream” from Lost Themes II
Director John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) is also doing a small tour in support of his upcoming album. This song is pretty awesome with an 80’s horror/Kraftwerk vibe to it.

Glitterbust – “The Highline” from Glitterbust
Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth has a new band, and they released the first track from their upcoming album this week. 

Marlon WilliamsMarlon Williams
New Zealander Marlon Williams will be opening for Sam Beam (from Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop on their spring tour, and since I’ll be catching that show in Ann Arbor, I thought I would check out the opener. I’m really glad I did, because this guy is hugely talented. I’m really looking forward to seeing him in May.

Julien BakerSprained Ankle
Julien Baker is one of the reasons I decided to make this list because I completely forgot about her great debut album from last year when writing some of my year-end posts for The AP Party. She was recently on the Chicago based Audiotree where she performed one of that show’s best sessions ever.

Sturgill Simpson – “The Promise” (When in Rome Cover) from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
If it wasn’t pointed out to me that this was a cover by CBC Radio 2 this week, I would have never found out.

Kathleen Edwards – “Empty Threat” from Voyageur
Probably my favorite Canadian musician who has never “made” it in the States. This comes from her great Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) produced album from 2012. She quit music and opened a coffee shop in an Ottawa suburb in 2014.

The Jayhawks – “Waiting for the Sun” from Hollywood Town Hall
The Jayhawks have been doing this for 30 years. This track is off their breakout album from 1992.

Astro ChildrenPlain and Fancy Killings
This week I read an article about Millie Lovelock who is working on a Master’s in English with a focus on fandom, and One Direction in particular. She is also the lead singer of the New Zealand band, Astro Children.

Chris Stapleton – NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Stapleton’s Traveller was one of my favorite albums from last year, and the Tiny Desk series from NPR is usually very entertaining. This performance from Stapleton is no different.

When in Rome  – “The Promise” from When in Rome
After hearing the Sturgill Simpson cover I had to seek out the original.

Tancred – “Sell My Head” from Out of the Garden
Tancred is the solo project of Now, Now’s guitarist Jess Abbott. This track off her upcoming album, and has a very 90’s power pop sound to it. 

Neko Case – “Man” from The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
I love this song (and Neko Case) so much. She’s super cool.

Noisey Forever Vacation: Converse Rubber Tracks video featuring Water Rats
This short film follows the Brazilian punk group Water Rats as they travel to Seattle to record with legendary producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney). Also, Thurston Moore shows up for some reason.

John Mellencamp – “Jack and Diane” from American Fool
It was on the radio, and I didn’t change stations…and, yes, I sang along.

Shovels & Rope with Preservation Hall Jazz Band – “Perfect Day” (Lou Reed Cover) from Busted Jukebox, Vol. 1
Not a huge fan of this cover, but Shovels & Rope are a neat country duo from South Carolina.

Iggy Pop – “Sunday” from Post Pop Depression
The latest track released from Pop’s upcoming album with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme. This might be my favorite of the three tracks released so far.

The Rentals – “Friends of P” from The Return of the Rentals
Who knew that The Rentals biggest hit was named after model Paulina Porizkova? According to AV Club’s Hear This!, Porizkova told Rentals frontman Matt Sharp that she had never had a song named after her, and Sharp went out and named this song after her.

If you want to listen to a playlist on Spotify click here.

The Anniversary of A Joke

In October of 2003 I ventured into Detroit to see a concert. A friend from work, Rachel, asked me to ride along to the Majestic Theater not because I was also a fan of The Long Winters or Death Cab for Cutie, but because she did not want to go to Detroit alone. To prep for this concert Rachel made me mix CD’s of her favorite songs by the two bands, and probably offered to buy me beer. I listened to those CD’s probably once or twice before the show, but I was not ready for what was going to happen once the first band strolled onto the stage.

As John Roderick and the rest of The Long Winters started into their set opener, “Carparts”, Rachel started singing along…and dancing. Not swaying to the music dancing, but full-on shaking her ass dancing. To this point my concert-going experiences in Detroit were mostly a crowd of a thousand or so folks, bopping their heads to the music probably with their arms crossed. Almost a “we’re from Detroit asshole, we gave you Iggy Pop” pose. So seeing my friend dancing her heart out through the night was an odd experience. An experience I would not have witnessed if Rachel did not forgive me earlier in the year for a practical joke.

About five months before that show The Long Winters released their second album, When I Pretend to Fall. At the time I was working in the music department of a Borders store in Ann Arbor. One of my jobs was to prepare new releases every Monday night, and shelve them on Tuesday. It was a pretty cool gig. I got to see all the releases before-hand, and occasionally take one home to listen to before it was released. Before that release day, Rachel had asked me to set aside the one copy of When I Pretend to Fall that we would be receiving, and I told her I would.

On Tuesday morning a co-worker named Joe was going through the CD’s, and noticed The Long Winters on hold for Rachel. Joe once tried to drink a couple quarts of Egg Nog during his lunch, and ended up puking up the nog and his lunch before he could finish the quarts. He was always looking for a laugh, so he thought it would be funny to buy Rachel’s CD, and he did. He bought the only copy of When I Pretend to Fall we had in the building. Now I could have stopped him, but I also thought it would be pretty funny, and I knew that Joe did not care about The Long Winters at all so the CD would still end up with Rachel.

When Rachel came into the store we told her that someone had bought the CD which made her pretty upset. Not helping matters was Joe revealing that he had bought the CD (even producing the receipt), that he could not wait to listen to it, and that The Long Winters were the greatest band in the world. Of course, this was all done with the sarcasm and wit of a guy who puked up a bunch of Egg Nog once. I am not sure Joe had even heard of The Long Winters until that Tuesday morning, but he did a pretty decent job of pissing Rachel off. She stormed out, went to another store, and bought her own copy. We shelved our copy after Joe returned it.

I was reminded of that story because Roderick tweeted on Monday that it was the tenth anniversary of the release of When I Pretend to Fall making it the tenth anniversary of that practical joke. I am not sure how long after that day Rachel was mad at us, but she did eventually forgive us. It was probably done at some bar over too many drinks because I drank a bit too much 10 years ago. This forgiveness eventually led to me ending up in the Majestic Theater with dancing Rachel. I saw her dance two more times at concerts with The Long Winters over the next year, and eventually became a pretty big fan of the band myself.

Because of the anniversary I listened to When I Pretend to Fall for the first time in ages. I think it still holds up pretty well, but I am a sucker for a collection of good pop songs. It also made me think about Joe and Rachel, two people I have not spoken to in a very long time. They both quit Borders long before I did, and moved on. One of my many faults is that I am terrible at staying in touch with people I rarely see. It does not mean that I forget about them, or the significance they have on my life, but it means they become a story for me to retell. On this blog to no one, instead of over drinks in a bar with my friends.

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