Saturday, April 25, 2015

Playlist for 4/25

Brian Wilson - No Pier Pressure
Ringo Starr - Postcards From Paradise
Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy
Pentangle -  Sweet Child
Sonny Til & The Orioles - Live In Chicago 1951

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fave TV Shows (Updated Spring 2015)

Updated for Spring 2015.  Shows that are still on the air.  This list not include recently cancelled or shows that just ended their run.

Listed in random order:

Walking Dead
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Little Couple
Game of Thrones
Saturday Night Live
Downton Abbey
Falling Skies
Orange Is The New Black
House of Cards
House of Lies
Broad City
New Girl
American Idol
The Voice
So You Think You Can Dance
American Pickers
Little Couple
Silicon Valley
Strike Back
Hell on Wheels
Real Time with Bill Maher
Mad Men
Moone Boy
Wrong Mans
Ray Donovan
Masters of Sex
30 for 30
Key & Peele
Inside Amy Shumer
Silicon Valley
Sleepy Hollow
Independent Lens
Dan Rather Reports
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
Ripper Street
Orphan Black
Mindy Project
Da Vinci's Demons
Red Sails
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
60 Minutes Sports on Showtime
The Fall  (UK)
Please Like Me
Alpha House
Mozart In The Jungle
Black Mirror
Marco Polo
Ubreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Bridge  (Sweden)
Hinterland  (UK)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Playlist for 4/20

Van Morrison - Duets
Nellie McKay - My Weekly Reader
Sufan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi
Simple Minds - Sparkle In The Rain

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Playlist for 4/15

KC & The Sunshine Band - Feelin You! 60's
Tuxedo - s/t
Seth Avett & Jessica Lee Mayfield - Sing Elliott Smith
Allison Moorer - Down To Believing
Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon
Modest Mouse - Strangers to Ourselves

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge's name often gets mentioned on the short list of questionable Rock Hall inductees. Those who don't think he belongs cite his lack of influence and hits.  Some foolishly called him a one-hit wonder.
Sledge was nominated and inducted on his first try in 2005.  Many think the only reason he was nominated was that his hits were recorded for Atlantic Records.  And it didn't hurt that Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertegun just happened to be the co-founder of the Rock Hall.

"When A Man Loves A Woman" was indeed a "transcendent moment" as Jerry Wexler once said.  That Sledge never had as big a hit isn't a surprise.  But wasn't for lack of trying.  "It Tears Me Up" and "Take Time To Know Her" were superb. Sledge, who was born in Alabama,  often cited Country music as an influence, and you can hear it throughout his discography.

What Sledge continued to record were Deep Soul treasures.  Long beloved by fans of 60's/70's R&B.  Think James Carr, Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Otis Redding among others.

I was one of those who was puzzled at Sledge's nomination and easy induction. But I've spent a lot of time listening to his back catalog, and realize that I was wrong.  In the end my conclusion is that Percy Sledge was a fantastic singer. And I hope that his death will bring about a much-needed reevaluation of his career.

This sound, which of course is epitomized by "When A Man Loves A Woman" is what pushed Sledge into the the Rock Hall. Conspiracy theorists won't agree.  They'll say Sledge's long-standing tenure at Atlantic got him in, but I could care less.  Ten years after his induction, what the Rock Hall is missing are more, not less, of these types of R&B singers.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Magazines Update (Spring 2015)

Magazine Update

Time for an update on magazines I read.

Rolling Stone
Down Beat
Mojo  (UK)
Uncut  (UK)


Big Takeover
Ugly Things
Shindig (UK)
Flashback (UK)
American Songwriter
Blues Revue
Living Blues
Under the Radar

Wax Poetics
Echoes of the Past
Oxford American  

Guitar Player
Elvis The Man and His Music
Blue Suede News 

Record Collector                                                                                                                             Texas Music                                                                                                         GQ,Time,Peopl,eVanity Fair,New Yorker,New York  Magazine,Wired

Tape Op.Prog  (UK).Blues Magazine (UK).Vintage Rock  (UK)

Vive Le Rock  (UK)Classic Pop (UK)

Songlines (UK)
Q  (UK)

Bass Player
Entertainment Weekly
Wire  (UK)
Sports Illustrated

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Playlist for 4/9

Caravan - In The Land of Grey and Pink
Steppenwolf - s/t
Steppenwolf - The Second
Sun Kil Moon - Benji
Boz Scaggs - Fool To Care
Nellie McKay - My Weekly Reader
Mark Knopfler - Tracker

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Robert Christgau's Memoir

The first time I saw a Christgau Consumer Guide was in the early 80's in Creem magazine.  I was just starting to learn about the history of Rock and Roll.  Even though I'd been subscribing to Rolling Stone and Billboard since 1978, I knew mostly about the artists of that time, and little about Rock's past.  Big names were familiar, but deep cuts weren't.  You could get a sense of it all in an issue of Rolling Stone.  And once I started reading it, I also noticed that there were other music magazines out there like Crawdaddy and Creem.  I read them all, in addition to the first Rolling Stone Record Guides (published in 1979 and '83, and edited by Dave Marsh and John Swenson).

All of these played a part in how I learned about the origins of Rock music.  It was also in the early 80's that I noticed Robert Christgau's first Consumer Guide book on albums of the 70's.  I was fascinated by the capsule reviews, but also had to keep checking on artists I liked, to see if Christgau like them as well.  In the end, we probably agreed on half of his grades.  It was refreshing to see Disco get some respect.   But some of my AM Top 40 faves were dismissed, which at the time was frustrating, but today seems like a given with critics of that era.

This is a long intro so I can mention that one of the most anticipated music books in recent memory  (at least for me) has just been released.  Robert Christgau's memoir called Going Into The City.  Notice that I wrote memoir, because that's what it is.  It's not all about music, and if you want to know Christgau's musical tastes visit his website .  Christgau is the self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics", a designation that rubs some wrongly, but he's always put it out there lightly. Christgau says he's reviewed over 14,000 albums.   Prog-Rock and Metal fans should avoid him.  As for the book, once you accept that this is a bio, and not completely about music, then you'll find it a good read.

I still read Christgau's now weekly album reviews at Medium .  It is true that what Christgau has on all the early Rock critics is that he still listens to a wider variety of musical styles than many others. And he keeps up with all of it.  Nope, I don't go along with every one of his picks, but I still want to thank him for getting me started on my own musical journey.  Like Christgau, I don't intend to stop for a long time.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Playlist for 4/2

Kelly Clarkson - Piece by Piece
Asleep At The Wheel - Still the King
Kristin Diable - Create Your Own Mythology
Dells - Freedom Means
Staple Singers - Freedom Highway Complete
Jerry Williams - Gone
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