Great Albums on a Saturday Morning

I’ve been picking great albums in listening to them in their entirety for the past several Saturdays. I don’t know why, but Saturday mornings seems like an ideal time for this, and since this feels like it’s becoming a routine, I’m going to start a thread to journal about these albums. Right now, I’m listening to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?, which I picked because Rolling Stone chose it as the #1 album out of the top 500. I’ll write some thoughts in the first comment section

Music of the 80s

Last night I was listening to Genesis’s 80’s stuff and Phil Collins, which I basically lump into the same category, similar to Steely Dan and Donald Fagen. Just looking over the number of songs that made it to top 40 radio or more rock oriented radio (e.g., 98 Rock), I think you could make a case for band/musician of the 80s. It’s not just the number of songs, but also that the songs are fairly representative of the 80s–i.e., they have an 80’s sound.

I liked a lot of what I heard, particularly with the horns. I like the bass parts as well, although I must mention a caveat–namely, that I listened to this on good headphones. When that happens, a lot of music sounds way, way better. I think this is partly because it allows me to hear all the instruments. So maybe I wouldn’t think as highly of the music on listening to them via another device.

We should do a top 10 list of the best Genesis/Phil Collins songs from the 80s? For me, “No Reply at All” and “I Missed Again” would be on there. I really like those songs.

Other questions:

Who would you chose as the band or musician of the decade?

What are the best songs of the decade, particularly in terms of making a case that the 80s were better than the 70s?

Art: Innovations and Innovators

I really love artist that push and sometime break boundaries, leading to a new style or vocabulary, or even redefining what constitutes art or not. Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, and maybe Andy Kaufmann would be examples of the latter. Other innovators, who may not cause us to re-think art, but I still I like a lot are Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, to name a few. This is a thread to discuss innovations of specific artists as well as innovations in art more generally. I want to start by talking about two different innovations in music that I’m interested in.

Could Tower Records Resurrect Itself Today?

I’m sure exactly when the coining of “third places” occurred, but I do believe it’s real–the idea that people have a need for a cozy, appealing space where they can be next to people they don’t necessarily know or interact with. After college, Tower Records was definitely such a place for me, and watching this reminded me of this.

Based on what I gather from the film, Tower Records did not need to go out of business. For one thing, if they had made a transition to online music streaming, thinking they could still be here seems reasonable. On the other hand, I believe they filed bankruptcy in the mid-2000s, and this was before a lot of music streaming sites like itunes. Made going to a music streaming wasn’t viable at the time. But even if you put that aside, there are other, perhaps more critical reasons they went out of business…con’t.