What are you listening to in 2023?
I’m interested in listening to any music, from the past ten years or so, that you consider new, original, and innovative. Actually, I’d also be interested in listening to music that you think is really terrific–something that may be in the same ballpark as great music from the past.
Mitchell, I’d be interested in getting one or two metal album recommendations.
For a long time I would occasionally call my son’s attention to a song. “Hey, check this out,” I’d say. (My daughter is not into music as much.) My son has now reached the point where he’s doing the same to me. Some of the songs are contemporary, but others are not. None of them have really grabbed me, until yesterday. Here’s what he played:
This song totally had me from the very beginning. The guitar and guitar riff kind of reminded me of Kim Thayil’s riff on “My Wave.” I was totally shocked to learn the group, John Spencer’s Blues Explosion, and the song, came out in the 90s. I never heard of the song or any music from this group (not that I can remember). I definitely want to check out their stuff.
(By the way, apple music recommendations of similar artists listed The Dirtbombs, which is why I listened to one of their albums yesterday.)
This is encouraging. You seemed to be a little down a few years ago about his not being very interested in music.
I gave you the impression that I was down that my son wasn’t very interested in music? I don’t remember feeling that way, but my memory isn’t great.
The National dropped a new album Friday, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. After five spins I’m digging it quite a bit more than their last album, which I liked at first but it just didn’t stick.
There’s a Hawaii mention in “New Order T-Shirt,” always a fun discovery:
I keep what I can of you
Split second glimpses and snapshots and sounds
You in my New Order t-shirt
Holding a cat and a glass of beer
When you rescued me from the customs cops in Hawaii
When I shut down the place with my Japanese novelty bomb
And your dad came along
Best song on the album. Candidate for best song of the year.
Finally got to listen to this. I wasn’t paying close attention to the lyrics, so I don’t really know can’t appreciate the song based on the lyrics. Musically, it doesn’t really stand out so far. But I just listened to it once.
(Sorry, I’ve been busy, and I have been spending more time watching movies and reading than listening to music. I’ll try to get to the other songs you posted soon.)
Yeah there’s pretty much nothing to note here without the lyrics.
Rodrigo y Gabriela dropped a new album a couple of weeks ago too. In Between Thoughts… A New World, a title I hate but oh well. It wouldn’t be the first good album whose title I hate.
It’s a fantastic 33-minute album. I’ve only gone through it twice and there isn’t an uninteresting song on it. My early favorite is this one.
I like the hard-driving rhythm here. I only wished the acoustic guitar was more audible.
I’m assuming you’re familiar with them, but tell me if you aren’t.
No, I don’t think I’m familiar with them.
Well dammit. This means I’ve been a bad friend. Shortly after their debut album dropped, I bought the CD for Christmas for a bunch of guitar-appreciating friends, especially people who appreciated Latin rhythms and flair. I can’t believe you weren’t one of them.
I think Marc shared here that he saw them in concert several years ago. I was super jealous.
I cannot find the video I was passing around the first time I saw them. The sound was better than this, and the lighting and camera work. But I just flipped through a bunch of this song, and this was one with the most attention paid to Gabriela, who is really the star of this track. I wish her guitar was boosted a little more but oh well.
In this video, the part where she really starts doing the thing I love her for is around 4:44 when you can hear her chording along with her percussion. I find it beautiful.
They met in Mexico when they were in a death metal band together, then moved to London to busk and work out their own sound. “Heavy metal flamenco” some people call it.
Don’t want to overhype it, but I love this duo.
You know what, you could have told me about this group before. My memory is not reliable. The group name is vaguely familiar, but it’s so vague, I couldn’t really tell if I actually listened to them before.
(I’ll check my itunes on my laptop. If you gave me this cd, it should be on there.)
Best song from the new Bruce Cockburn album:
…and second-best, at least as of this morning after two spins of the album:
Because I couldn’t sleep, I started listening to my R&B playlist, and I got hooked on one song, “Nights on Broadway.” I had a R&B cover of this song, performed by Candy Staton, followed by the Bee Gees version.
I really like the composition–the way the melody develops. It’s both catchy and effective in the way it builds in the drama, although this is one of those songs where the chorus seems little a weaker, and slightly a let down. (Toto’s “Georgy Porgy” is another song like this for me.)
On the other hand, the lyrics come across as a little creepy, and the music subtly adds to this reading. For example, the introduction sounds like something from a gritty, 70’s urban thriller/cop movie. And throughout the song, the music sounds too ominous for a romantic song. As for the lyrics, the first verse suggests the protagonist sees someone in a night club (or maybe backstage?), has a brief conversation that isn’t encouraging, but leads to infatuation or even an obsession with that person. In this way, the song makes me think of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” This infatuation/obsession, the protagnoist blames on the nights on Broadway–and maybe more specifically the “love songs” and “straight-to-the-heart” songs. Perhaps, he/she believes singing those songs infected him/her with an unrealistic and maybe even unhealthy notions of romance–e.g., love at first sight is realistic expectation, etc. Or maybe this reading is totally wrong?
Whatever the case may be, I like the music in this. I prefer rhythm section in Candy Staton’s version, particularly the bass. It’s basically funkier. However, her version leaves out the bridge, which is an interesting change-up in the Bee Gees version. In that version, the tempo and mood slows down, and it’s almost a different song, one that sounds a lot like something from The Beatles, particularly the last few notes of the bridge. It’s musically interesting, but I can see why Staton leaves this part out.
In any event, here are the two versions:
In my music discussion class, we’re listening to songs from specific genres. One of the best things about this class is discovering unfamiliar music that I really enjoy, especially from a style I don’t generally love. A recent example of this is Peter Paul and Mary’s “If I Had a Hammer.” I must have heard this song when I was younger, but I guess I never really took to it like I’m doing now. I like almost everything about it–the music, singing, and lyrics.
I saw this on youtube recently. I never thought I would be drawn to or interested in ever hearing this again.
Actually, while I do have memories of this at department stores (e.g., Gems, Payless, maybe Longs?)–with the voice over the P.A., “You always get the best deals at Gems…”–I also associate this with my dentist. The radio station KUMU played this, and he would play the station.
I don’t think I’m going to listen to this music (although I guess it might be interested to analyze the music to see if it’s any good), but it sure does have nostalgia factor.
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