Saturday, December 30, 2006

Playlist for 12/30

Special James Brown Edition

Roots of a Revolution
Live at the Apollo
50th Anniversary Collection
20 Greatest Hits
Sex Machine (1970)
Star Time
In The Jungle Groove
Funky People (pt. 1 and 2)
Say It Live and Loud

Friday, December 29, 2006

My Jazz Problem

Ornette Coleman's Sound Grammar made me ponder my relationship with modern jazz. This is Coleman's first album in over 10 years and it's a good one. But the only reason I picked it up is that it has seeped over onto some Pop Critic Lists. As someone who likes Jazz, I rarely buy anything new unless it gets attention in the Rock press. But if you asked a Jazz critic they'd say the same thing about their Pop buying habits. I wish I loved modern jazz more. I subscribe to Down Beat and enjoy Tom Hull jazz reviews, but I'm too timid on non-archival stuff. Anyway, pick up Coleman's set. He's not new school jazz, but if you have a passing interest in the music, then what better way to get a refreshner than with a master.

Monday, December 25, 2006

He Did His "Thang"

The best way to honor artists with big catalogs like James Brown is to remember the forgotten gems amidst all the classics. Like many an artist with a big discography, (e.g. Elvis, Sinatra), Brown recorded a lot of junk, but when he was on there was no better funk artist in history. So, I glanced back at my Brown records and came up with a few forgotten hits and one album cut from 1991.

I Got Ants In My Pants 1973
My Thang 1974
I Got The Feelin' 1968
Teardrops On My Letter 1991
I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing 1969
Lost Someone 1961

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Goodbye Dennis Linde

Dennis Linde wrote "Burning Love", Elvis' last non-cover classic and "Goodbye Earl", the Dixie Chicks' last fun hit. There was "Callin' Baton Rouge" which is a Garth Brooks staple. In between he wrote the immortal "Bubba Shot The Jukebox" and equally goofy "Talkin' Song Repair Blues", and there were other Country hits. He made some solo albums in the early 70's that got good notices, but are long out-of-print. And he's a member of the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame. Linde died on 12/22, but for us Elvis fans we'll always thank him for "Burning Love."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Playlist for 12/22

Bob Wills - Legends Of Western Swing
Jennifer Hudson - "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going"
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Gold
Hall & Oates - Home For Christmas
Journey Into Paradise-Larry Levan Story

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Spin Copies Time, Or Is It The Other Way?

Spin is once again late. Who's there artist of the year? Why it's "You". Which if it sounds familiar it is. The same as Time's choice. Frankly, I think both choices suck. Spin's choice is heavy on and Youtube references. But it's funny that a magazine that always seems to be lagging in the credibility dept. comes up a few days short of besting a bigger magazine.

My Last Hope

I was hoping that No Depression's year end critic list would guide me to something wonderful, but their choices are all too obvious. Which means after surveying all the year end lists I could find, there are only a couple of CD's that I'll explore. The good news is that 2007 looks like another interesting year. A lot of indie labels will drop some good titles early on.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Continuing Most Series

Trying real hard to keep my thread of "Most of 2006" going I came up with the Most Overlooked Album by a Music legend to Not Appear On Any Year-End Music Lists. 2006 brought us legends like Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Neil Young, Elton, Springsteen. But the winner of this category is Prince's 3121. Released back in Spring it's no classic, but I've got it listed in the middle of my year-end list. And the lead single, "Black Sweat", is Prince's fiercest track in ages.

Finally Found An Xmas Add

My AMG All Music Guide search tells me that there are 946 versions of
"It Came Upon A Midnight Clear", and countless others where it's paired as a medley. But my own Greatest Christmas Songs is missing the song. "Clear" is one of those kinda Xmas classics. You wouldn't rank it in the top tier, but it's in the middle. I revisited the song this year thanks to a new version that got a lot of AC play by Hall & Oates. They have a new Xmas album, Home For Christmas, which is okay but nothing classic. This ain't no Philly Soul Christmas, unfortunately. And it's too laid back for their own good. Their version of "Clear" is quite good actually. Very warm and comforting. But I can see why it's been a middle tier standard. The lyrics aren't simple and they are often weary. So, the song fits in perfectly with today's world.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Does Jann Wenner Love Chili Peppers?

Things were going so snoozy in my look at the year's Top CD's from various sources that I was actually surprised by the Rolling Stone list. How about that #2 pick, Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When I say surprised, I don't mean in a good way. Usually that magazine is good for a few year-end chuckles. That choice being one of them. Oh well, at least their #15, Wolfmother is right on.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Last Of The Record Men

In trying to find something new to add to the legacy of Ahmet Ertegun Dies at 83, my first reaction is that he was the last of the initial Rock era's record men. All the men who founded record companies that created Rock and Roll are now gone: Sam Phillips was the last before Ertegun. There are still old-fashioned record people alive: Jerry Wexler and Clive Davis. But they didn't form there own companies. Ertegun was the last.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Overhyped Awards

Most Overhyped album that lived up to its hype:
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am

Most Overhyped album That Didn't Please Anybody:
Outkast - Idlewild

Sunday, December 10, 2006

2006's Most Forgotten CD

For me the most overlooked Good album of 2006 comes from Country singer Julie Roberts. Men & Mascara was her 2nd album and released in the Summer it proved to be my favorite Country album of the year not done by the Dixie Chicks. But the lead title track single bombed, which is always a bad sign in today's hit or you're gone Country environment. A slow burn it wasn't uptempo enough for Country radio, which likes their singles playful and easy to swallow. The followup, a more uptempo song, also tanked. And so did the album. But don't forget it. My fear, and I said this when I initially reviewed the album, is that Roberts' record company will demand fluff for her third album. If they don't get sales she could be dropped and relegated to 3rd tier oblivion. I hope she holds on, and if you like good hard Country then give her a spin.

Music Critic Hall Of Fame?

The idea of a Music Critic Hall of Fame could make some people queasy. What I've found since the dawn of the internet age is that people have strong opinions about the "name" critics of yore. Mention Robert Christgau or Dave Marsh and you're bound to hear it from many music fans who've felt that both those men ragged on some of their favorite singers for too long. But if you had a MC Hall Of Fame both would be there. I've thought of doing this for a long time, but outside of the big names, I felt I would miss many unknowns who influenced a lot of today's writers. So, for now it remains on the backburner. Even Googled my post header and nothing came up under the subject. But the idea isn't that crazy. I've seen posts suggesting that the RRHOF induct some critics (e.g. Lester Bangs). I grew up in what I think is the Golden Age of Rock criticism, when Rolling Stone and Creem ruled my reading. There are good critics working today, but I still revert back to the familiar when I'm interested in a product.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Boycott A Music Poll?

This site Idolator has started its own Music Poll to rival the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop. They're are calling it Jackin' Pop and it looks like its going to hit most of the same critic's as P&J. That includes me. There was talk of people boycotting P&J and only voting in the new one. It would be a protest against the Voice firing P&J founder and Senior Critic Robert Christgau. I was thinking of doing the same, until I read Christgau's thoughts on the whole thing in the New York Times. Seems that he'll be voting in both polls, too. And he doesn't miss the weeks of labor that the P&J cost him. So, my decision to vote in both is sound.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Playlist For 12/8

The Playlist is thinning out. So, don't be surprised if I miss some weeks. It's December and there's not much new music to talk about. But indie labels get busy in January so things will look up. For now I'll be getting caught up on reissues and the stray 2006 or later title that I missed.

This week's playlist is a special on music magazines that I look forward to each month/week/bimonthly. Most of these are listed for the reviews section. The features are usually pretty lame. I actually read more than these, but the best pick's are below. Not ranked in any preference:

No Depression
Rolling Stone

Speaking of Ex-Voice Critics

I didn't realize this until I glanced through my latest Billboard, but Chuck Eddy is now a Senior Editor for the magazine. I haven't seen any writing's by him yet. But it's certainly an intriguing hire. Eddy had reviews in Spin and Harp but he hasn't been there in a few months.

Christgau's Consumer Guide Lives On

Admit it, you missed it. Since getting canned in mid-August from the Village Voice, Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide has been missing. But he hasn't. His reviews can still be found in Blender and Rolling Stone. And he appears on NPR. But it's nice to have the CG back. It's now bi-monthly and published the first of the month at MSN MUSIC - CONSUMER GUIDE.

Award For Strangest CD of 2006

In doing my CD lists I realized that one CD that I'd blogged about, Johnny Dowd's Cruel Words, was not listed. If I did a list of the strangest CD's I heard this year, that would be at the top. It was a prog-singer/songwriter album mostly about bleak subjects. If that sounds interesting it is. But it does grow tiresome over an album and Dowd didn't have the songs to pull it off. His voice is as much an aquired taste as Tom Waits.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Torn Between Two #10's

In the end, I was torn between #11 Ghostface Killah and #10 The Dixie Chicks. The latter is more admirable than great. It's not their best album, but damn do you got to hand it to 'em for sticking to their guns. As for Ghostface, this was a lousy year for rap albums, but that's a good one. I don't like to give ties when doing year end lists. And if you ask me tomorrow I could switch their order.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Best of 2006

Because I got my Village Voice Pazz & Jop ballot, I got kicking on my favorite's of 2006.

Top CD's/Singles/Reissues of 2006

As I always say, it's possible that I missed something in 2006. Jeez, with all the product being released no one person can listen to everything. But I'm happy with my choices. And if I did miss something, I'll carry it over to my 2007 list.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Playlist for 12/3

Ceelo- Best of
Decemberists - Crane's Wife
Cat Stevens - Teaser and the Firecat
James Morrison - Undiscovered
3 Dog Night - Best of
Lesley Gore - Best of
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