Monday, December 31, 2012

For The Music People Who Died In 2012

2 Links  to see the names of  the Musicians, Producers, etc. we lost in 2012. 

Pause & Play has just names, no pictures.

The above from Spin has pictures to go with the names.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Music Writing Gone AWOL?

The above link asks the question I hear a lot about in these Internet times:  What happened to Music Writing?

And with print magazine's barely hanging on (at least U.S. ones), where do you go to read about stuff that isn't fluff items.
The U.K. still has Mojo and Uncut for good articles.  Rolling Stone sometimes runs a good profile.  But I find most of my articles online.  But where?  Usually through Facebook and Twitter postings.  In fact, I think mostly through them.

The online music world of posting is so vast that it's almost as impossible to find good stuff.  My suggestion is  find things through Twitter and Facebook, and not so much through a Google search.

Even then you'll have a hard time keeping up.

Top Albums of 2012

1.  Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
2.  Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
3.  Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn't
4.  Chris Knight - Little Victories
5.  JD McPherson - Signs & Signifiers
6.  Gregory Porter - Be Good
7.  Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
8.  Tom Jones - Spirit In The Room
9.  Lana Del Rey - Born To Die/Ride (EP)
10.  Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
11. Dr. John - Locked Down
12. Passion Pit - Gossamer
13. Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
14. Jack White - Blunderbuss
15. Dwight Yoakam - 3 Pears
16. Jamey Johnson - Living for A Song: Tribute to Hank Cochran
17. XX -  Coexist
18. Iris Dement - Sing the Delta
19. Fun - Some Nights
20. John Mayer - Born and Raised
21. Ryan Shaw -Real Love
22. Rick Springfield - Songs For The End of the World
23. Lionel Richie - Tuskegee
24. Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
25. Time Jumpers - s/t
26. Chelle Rose - Ghost of Browder Holler
27. This One's For Him-Tribute To Guy Clark
28. Todd Snider - Time As We Know It:  Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker
29. Otis Taylor - Contraband
30. Cody Chesnutt - Landing on A Hundred
31. Kelly Hogan - I Like To Keep Myself In Pain
32. Bonnie Raitt- Slipstream

Playlist for 1/19

Thelonious Monk/Sonny Rollins
Thelonious Monk Trio
Dev - Night The Sun Came Up
Rush - Hemishpheres
Jessie Ware - Devotion

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top Singles of 2012

1.  Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
2.  Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
3.  PSY - Gangham Style
4.  Alex Clare - Too Close
5.  Miguel - Adorn
6.  Luke James - I Want You
7.  Lumineers - Ho Hey
8.  Fun - We Are Young/Some Nights
9.  Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven
10. Gregory Porter - Real Good Hands
11.  Passion Pit - Take A Walk
12.  Eric Church - Springsteen
13.  Katy Perry - Wide Awake
14. Wanted - Glad You Came
15.  Kathleen Edwards - Change The Sheets
16. Little Big Town - Tornado/Pontoon
17. Maroon 5 - Payphone
18. Scissor Sisters - Baby Come Home
19. Adele - Rumour Has It/Set Fire To The Rain
20. Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn't
21. Alabama Shakes - Hold On
22. Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
23. Rudimental - Feel The Love
24. Frank Ocean - Thinking About You
25.  JD McPherson - North Side Gal
26. Demi Lovato - Give Your Heart A Break
27. Kesha - Die Young
28. Bruce Springsteen - We Take Care Of Our Own
29. Jamey Johnson & Alison Krauss- Make The World Go Away
30. Willie Nelson, etc.  - Roll Me Up

Friday, December 28, 2012

Top Reissues of 2012

1. Smokey Robinson -Warm Thoughts/Being With You  (Hip 0 Select 2012 reissues)
2. Whitney Houston - Best of
3. Kelly Clarkson - Greatest Hits
4. Ray Parker Jr. -Woman Needs Love/Other Woman (2012 reissues)
5. Kaiser Chiefs -Souvenir
6. Carole King - Legendary Demos
7. James Burton -Early Years 57-69  (Ace)
8. Story of American Studios  (Ace)
9. Kirk Franklin - Essential
10. Elvis Presley - Prince From Another Planet

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Playlist for 12/27

Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
Fun - Some Nights
John Fullbright - Ground Up
Gregory Porter - Be Good
Green Day - Tre

Monday, December 24, 2012

RIP Spin Magazine

No surprise.  In July the magazine went bi-monthly, and said it wouldn't put out issues at the end of the year.
The editor tried to reassure subscribers that the magazine would survive.  I knew better.
Spin was once the alternative music magazine of record.

But the digital age chewed it up.  Now people can go to Pitchfork and read all the stuff that Spin used to write about.

I'm always disappointed when any sort of music magazine folds, though.  I was a long time subscriber.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

X Factor/The Voice

The Voice is 0 for 2 in establishing stars.
The X Factor US is 0 for 1.
At least Phillip Phillips, the American Idol winner, has a huge, and pretty decent, single.

But will any of these contestants on the other 2 shows become stars, when the real stars of these shows have become the judges.?  I'm skeptical, because the music industry remains a huge beast, that is hard to break through in.

The Voice winner is a pure Pop singer, even though the show, because of mentor Blake Shelton, tried to get to go Country.  She's not.
The X Factor is a Country singer.  But he sounds like every other Country singer you've ever heard.  Will that genre be able to break him?
In fact, will any of the many contestants be heard from again?  Watching both of these I kept thinking the answer is no.  But that's because I know how hard it is to sell records consistently in today's market.  

The pressure is more on the Voice than the X Factor to break someone.  Now on its 3rd cycle it has better talent than the X Factor did this year.  As for the X Factor, it was the worst of the singing shows by far in 2012.  Dreadfully produced with American Idolish singers belting like crazy.  Also, and this may appear minor to some, but major to me, predictable song choices.  At least the Voice mixed up the obvious with the more obscure.

Call me a fool for caring about this, but good Pop stars can come from these.  Kelly Clarkson & Carrie Underwood are really good.
But I'm beginning to think, with the Voice and the X Factor, that who wins or sells records has become a sideshow to the faux bickering of the judges.  And why do you need 4 on all these shows?  The original AI had 3, and it was perfect.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Playlist for 12/19

Kesha - Warrior
Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox
Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale - Buddy & Jim
Damned - Damned Damned Damned
Time Jumpers - s/t

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Playlist for 12/15

Tame Impala  - Lonerism
Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
Kurt Elling - 1619 Broadway
Blake Shelton - Cheers It's Christmas
Cee Lo Green - Magic Moment
Bobby Darin - That's All

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Own Rock Hall Wishlist (Updated)

Well, after the recent announcement of the 2013 Rock Hall inductees, I've updated my own Rock Hall wishlist.  
The list doesn't get smaller, and in fact has grown a little bit since last year.  Two things the Hall & I have in common.  We will never get caught up with the backlog of deserving artists.

Quick Dave Marsh Thoughts

In an email exchange I had with Dave Marsh on Tuesday after the Rock Hall Inductees were named, he told me he is a Deep Purple, Chic & Procol Harum fan.

Didn't tell me which 5 he voted for, but he was happy that Public Enemy & Donna Summer, two he did support, got voted in.

Basically said when it comes to acts like Chic and others getting passed over, that when it comes to the final tally, you win and lose some.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2013 Rock Hall Inductees Reaction

Well, there were no surprises among the 6 names.

But, and I am not bragging here, I predicted all 6.                                                                                                             The link is below this post.   Like I always say.  Easier to predict the inductees than who will get nominated.

I actually thought it was a tough ballot to predict, once you got past Public Enemy, Rush and Donna Summer. That left 2 or 3 slots open.

For those wondering about Albert King.  Never underestimate the appeal a legendary Blues artist has with fellow Hall of Famer artists  and older Hall voters.
I correctly figured that most people wouldn't remember that Randy Newman got nominated once before, in 2005.  Newer Hall voters thought he was on their for the first time.
Heart had to have been close last year.  And they had a lot going on this year, with a book, CD and box set all coming out.

Back to Chic.  Now 7 times nominated.  It's getting ridiculous, but putting them on the same ballot with Donna Summer was probably too much Disco even for the few anti-Disco voters that Summer may have turned.  I do hope they return on next year's ballot, though. But I'm getting worried that eventually even the great Nile Rodgers himself might tell the Hall to stop nominating him.

Below the 6 inductees were a lot of closely knit names, but no out and out no-brainers for voters.  I think Kraftwerk and Joan Jett have a good chance down the road. As do Deep Puurple.  Don't know if the Marvelettes are a one-ballot wonder.  The Meters seem to be loved by some fellow Hall of Famers,  but I think the Neville Brothers would be a first-ballot inductee.  Paul Butterfield Blues Band seem marginal to voters, and Procol Harum just didn't feel right to go in right away.   I think Yes would do better.

No Sideman, Early Influences this year.  But we get 2 Non-Performers.  Quincy Jones should have been inducted a long time ago.  Rock Hall politics played a part in keeping him out.  Lou Adler has the Monterey Pop Festival as his calling card.  Let's hope Don Cornelius was discussed this year.

As usual, lots to digest  when it comes to the yearly inductees.
And I might as well get this out of the way.  The only first time nominee no-brainer inductee on the 2014 ballot will be Nirvana.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Adele's 10 Million

Adele's 21 hit 10 million copies sold last year.  That's a phenomenal figure in today's music world, where most mega-sellers are lucky to sell half of that.
It was my number one album of 2011, even though there was a lot of grumbling that the album wasn't as good as the singles, or that it wasn't even that good period.

To those that missed out on it, and are still resisting, then I feel sorry for you, but I understand.  There are groups that people love, Radiohead springs to mind, that I've never fully embraced either.

So, let me just say, that I doubt she'll ever sell that much again.  This was one of those albums that everyone, including people who don't normally buy albums anymore, had to have.

Of course with massive success comes massive backlash, and there is and was quite a bit.
But Adele's a talent.  That 10 million was deserved because it's a great album.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Going to the Movies

Yep, it's a traumatic experience.  At least for me.  Skyfall, a good Bond movie, was the first time I've been to a theater in about a year.
The first thing we do is sit down, in front of a couple of teenager.  One of them starts hitting the back of my seat with his foot.  Told him to stop, he did, but by then I made up my mine to move over a couple of seats.  Problem solved.

Then there's the constant chattering, which has only gotten worse in the last 20 years, with the invention of DVD's and Home systems.  People think they are home watching a movie, and have the right to talk for 2 hours.

I'm not saying I'll never go to another movie, just that going to them is not as fun anymore.  And they are pricey.  Matinees are just about $7 bucks.  Throw in popcorn and a drink and the price adds up, especially for those with lots of kids.

Going to movies used to be a fun experience.  And I admit I still got a thrill seeing things on a big screen.  But  with movies coming out on DVD after only being in the theater for a few months, I will continue to pick and choose when to go out for one.  Once or twice a year sounds good for now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sentimental Streamers

Above is a link to an article from New Yorker magazine.  The author talks about how streaming has taken the fun out of listening to music, because there's too much of it at our fingertips.
Go to listen to one artists album on Spotify or Rhapsody and see tons of other releases.

But it's also about how one listens to albums today, what with everything a click away.  In the past I used to listen to albums over and over.  Now if something doesn't hit me after a couple of spins, I'm off to the next thing.

But streaming has served its purpose. It's enabled those of us who wasted tons of money on albums with only a few good cuts, to now skip all the filler and just buy the tracks we want.

You can pine for the days of Tower records all you want, and I do at times, but technology is not very sentimental.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Playlist for 12/2

Phillip Phillips - World From
Corb Lund - Cabin Fever
Whitney Houston - Best of
Kelly Clarkson - Greatest Hits
Lana Del Rey -Paradise
Bobby Bare -Darker Than Light
Green Day - Dos
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