“It’s O.K.”

I’ve of recent taken to singing this to my boys when they start crying over some small reason.  I discovered Dead Moon several years ago, via Pearl Jam tagging the song onto the end of Daughter in several concerts.  Honestly, it’s so pretty when Eddie sings it, I thought it was a cover of some forgotten doo-wop song.

“it’s ok/we’ve all seen better days”

“It’s ok/we love you anyway”

“it’s ok/you don’t have to run and hide away”

As of last year, Dead Moon still tours, though they never really had a breakthrough in the music industry.  Kudos to Pearl Jam for picking this beautiful song out of the ether and giving it a wider audience.

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Cute stories about toddlers and punk rock

We recently got back from 5 nights of camping.  The morning we left, the spouse was taking a shower and I was entertaining the boys in the meanwhile.  They asked for music, and so I put on my Bad Brains record.  We were playing around by going around in a small circle while listening to songs like “Banned in DC” and “Pay to Cum”.  The entire time, they were laughing and having a good time, enjoying the fact that Papa was being silly with them.  Hooking babies on hardcore and happy circles before they even know which either…I’m such a good dad…

On our last morning of camping, I needed to change one of the boys’ diapers.  In his 2yo babbling, he muttered something repeatedly that sounded like “no more baby energy”.  I asked him if he was saying “Anger is an Energy”.  Whether he got it or not, who knows, but I’m going with it…

It Was 20 Years Ago Today…September 1998

Everlast: Whitey Ford Sings the Blues

Everlast is the lead singer for House of Pain, however this album was released after the band initially disbanded.  White Ford Sings the Blues was released on September 8, 1998.  The album takes on a style of a slow cadence rapping over acoustic guitar about being down on one’s luck.

“What It’s Like” was a gigantically huge-normous hit from the album, peaking at number one on Billboard’s Modern Rock Singles chart for nine weeks.  It tells three stories of down and out people and asks the listener to understand their plight.  The song reasons that, if you walk a mile in their shoes, then you really might know what it’s like to have struggles in your life.

The song was such a titanic hit for Everlast, that people began to compare his one-hit status as a solo artist to his one-hit status as the front man for House of Pain (whose “Jump Around” was also an enormous hit).  The Curse of Everlast seemed to have struck again.

Though it wasn’t as successful as its predecessor, the song “Ends” has also stuck with me through all these years.  Similar to “What It’s Like”, this song tells the story of three people and the lengths they will go to for access to money; be it selling drugs, prostitution, or finding a sugar daddy.

House of Pain reformed a couple times after this album was released, but they have yet to have another hit quite like “Jump Around”.  Everlast has continued releasing albums that sound similar to Whitey Ford, even referencing Whitey on a couple more titles.  The Curse of Everlast still stands, but given how big his two biggest hits are, perhaps that’s not such a bad curse to have hanging over you.

Congrats to EGOT winners christened 2018

John Legend:

10 Grammys

1 Oscar (for “Glory” from Selma soundtrack)

1 Tony (for the revival of Jitney)

1 Emmy (for Jesus Christ Superstar Live)

 

Andrew Lloyd Webber:

3 Grammys

1 Oscar (for “You Must Love Me” from Evita soundtrack)

6 Tonys

1 Emmy (for Jesus Christ Superstar Live)

 

Tim Rice:

5 Grammys

3 Oscars

3 Tonys

1 Emmy (for Jesus Christ Superstar Live)

My falut, Return of the Frog Queen

I passed over Jeremy Enigk’s “Return of the Frog Queen” when it was originally released in 1996, mostly because it didn’t have a song played on the radio station to which I listened at the time.

It was re-released earlier this year, and I decided to put a hold on it at the library.  When I finally gave the album a listen, it was a deeply engaging and emotional piece of art.

Some background:  Jeremy Enigk is/was the lead singer of Sunny Day Real Estate.  They released their seminal album, Diary, in 1994, following that up with “The Pink Album” in 1995 before briefly breaking up.  Jeremy Enigk went into the studio for Return of the Frog Queen, David Bazan went on to a successful solo career and two members went on to join the initial incarnation of Foo Fighters.

Mr. Enigk, I’m sorry.  I’m now going to check out your 2006 album as well.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today…August 1998

Lauryn Hill:  The Miseducation of Layrn Hill

After her career with the Fugees, which featured two full lengths, most notably The Score, Lauryn Hill struck out on her own for a R&B/Hip Hop/Soul venture that would spawn three singles and earn her 5 Grammy nods.

The album paints a picture of Hill’s struggles within the Fugees, with the fame that came from her success in that outfit, and from other life experiences.  Her efforts also led her to write the Aretha Franklin single “A rose is still a rose”.

The most famous of the three singles was titled “Doo Wop (That Thing)”.  The song became the first debut single to top the Billboard R&B charts.  The song speaks to the struggles of those living in the inner city, those emigrating from other cultures to the United States, and drew praise for giving advice in equal measure to men and women.  The video drew parallels betwen 1967 and 1997.  It also earned her two of those 5 Grammys.

The other big single from the album was “Everything is Everything”, a song also about inner city struggles.  In later years, the song would gain notoriety for being the first commercial single featuring John Legend, who played piano on the track.  The video compares New York City to a record, going around ad infinitum, but never really doing anything new.

The least successful of her three singles was “Ex-Factor”, which drew speculation that the titular Ex was former Fugees member Wyclef Jean.  It has more of a soul groove than the other tracks, but still saw moderate success.

A hidden track on the album was her cover of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, originally by Franki Valli.  His song was released 30 years prior to The Miseducation Of…, the song has become a classic and an example of crossover appearl between the R&B and Rock genres.

Twenty ears later, and Lauryn Hill has not issued an official follow up.  She did an MTV Unplugged session in 2001, released as an album the following year.  In 2013, on the eve of her release from prison for tax evasion, she released the track “Consumerism”, a rapid-fire screed against arbitrary boundaries.  In 2014, she released “Black Rage” which sought to show the history that lead up to the protests in Ferguson, MO and the #blacklivesmatter movement.  She also covered several Nina Simone songs for a 2015 documentary, performing several songs when Ms. Simone was inducted into the Rock Hall in 2018.

Aretha Franklin: 1946-2018

I may not profess to be a huge fan of her oeuvre, but I can admire her body of work.  She passed after a long battle with pancreatic cancer (fuck cancer, y’all).  I’m just gonna admit it, this one hurts.

There’s a reason she earned the moniker The Queen of Soul, as evidenced by the below video.

She was more than an amazing, singular voice:

And the classic of all time:

Rest in peace, and long live the queen.

“I just want to scream/HELLOOOO”

So, after years of the occasional posting at work, my site was blocked by IT because they classified it as something different than, say Facebook…

I fought back and won.  Now, it feels so good to be back!

Anyway, here’s a snipped from night 1 of pearl jam’s 2 night stand at Safeco Field, raising money for homelessness.

New Dark Ages: Four A.M.

Porland/Seattle acoustic bar punk band New Dark Ages have finally completed their debut album, Four A.M. and have made it available on bandcamp.

https://thenewdarkages.bandcamp.com/releases

I have had their song “Last Call” as long as I’ve had Itunes (about 8.5 years now) and at one point in time, while sitting at a bar late in the evening, the song popped into my head.  I had to do some deep digging to figure out what the song was because I only had the chorus in my head and I didn’t turn up good results on any search engine.

 

Two songs I didn’t know about before reading a Pitchfork review of “Incesticide”

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/nirvana-incesticide/

On July 1, 2018, Pitchfork reviewed Nirvana’s 1992 compilation album Incesticide.  In it were anecdotes about Cobain’s love for bands like The Vaselines and The Raincoats.  More obscure references were Frightwig, which he apparently wore a shirt with their name during the immortal Unplugged performance.

 

The reviewer also spoke of a song by a band called Kleenex and their song “Hitch-Hike” bearing a striking similarity to the subject matter of “Polly”.  Apparently, Cobain was a fan of their work as well…