As if the 2014 Sonic Evolution wasn’t awesome enough

2015’s will be Mad Season, the one off supergroup featuring members of Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees and Alice In Chains. Unfortunately, I’ve got to wait until the end of June to hear the results of this announcement…

It’ll be interesting to see if they can top the pure joy of hearing Mix-a-lot backed by an orchestra.


Promise for 2015

I’ve enjoyed ranting about several different music-related topics over the last 14 months. Last year, I promised that I would be starting a monthly feature “It was 20 years ago today”. I have done the research for 1995 and I intend to keep this feature up for the next year (January and December seemed especially light).
I also want to post some sort of either “Best grunge songs” or “Best PacNW artists”, but I need to have the time to really think about those options.
I’ve been slacking on my Vinyl Review feature. I like doing it, I just don’t think about it very often. Record store day is only 3.5 months away…
I’ve broken the music-only credo a few times this year, and tried to humorously connect those posts to music in some small way. I make no apologies if I continue to do so on occasion.
And of course, I’ll be posting my favorite songs/albums of the year next December. I already have tracks from upcoming albums by The Decemberists and Marilyn Manson, who knows if/where they’ll land on my Top 50 of 2015 countdown.

New discovery

I was browsing through last night when one of their favorite albums of the year was by somebody of whom I’d never heard. His name is Pete Molinari and he seems to be some sort of cross between Oasis on his heavier songs and Buddy Holly on the quieter stuff (but with more distortion on guitar).

I’ve watched several videos of his this morning to determine whether it was worth it to try and find some of his work, and this is the track that sealed the deed for me.

It’s not his newest work, but it’s a cute video.

Rough Mix

As I’ve posted before, a song I co-wrote turns 20 next year. Ok, so it’s not the best song ever written, but I am proud of the fact that this milestone will be reached sometime around August 2015. I’ve spent way too much time today stitching together several tracks to make a decent sounding rough edit of the track, and I couldn’t help but paraphrasing Arlo Guthrie in a new intro.

Arlo, if you’ve been informed about this, I love your work and I am by no means making light of your music. Call it an inspiration for the introduction. That’s America.

An now, ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, a rough edit of:
Dinosaur Pancakes Infrastructure (The Significance of the Loaf of Bread) (20th Anniversary rough edit)

Things we lost in 2014

As happens every year, bands break up and musicians die. This list is far from exhaustive, but are meant to be my recollections of those for whom I made note throughout the year. I sat through Crystal Castles opening for Nine Inch Nails. The Civil Wars were a band I discovered and shared with my girlfriend AND one of her friends on the same day. Although I’d read it before, I’d forgotten that “I Love Rock and Roll” was not an original song of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. And of course, there will never be another like Pete Seeger, who at 92 marched with members of Occupy Wall Street and sang “This Little Light of Mine”.

Bands who broke up in 2014

Beady Eye
The Civil Wars

Crystal Castles
Guided by Voices
The Rapture

Musicians who passed away in 2014

Scott Ashton (The Stooges)
Jack Bruce (Cream)

Bob Casale (Devo)
Joe Cocker
Phil Everly

Jane Hooker (wrote “I love rock and roll”)

Casey Kasem
Tommy Ramone
Billy Rath (replaced Richard Hell in The Heartbreakers)

Paul Revere
Pete Seeger
Larry Smith (hop hop producer)
Wayne Static (Static X)

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

So, while I was making dinner, I was watching a recent documentary about The Stone Roses, titled Made of Stone. The first portion of the movie is about their first practices after deciding to get back together. The second portion is about their rise to prominence in the mid-to-late 1990s, including well known songs such as “Waterfall” and “I Want to be Adored”.
The scene then shifts to their first announced concert on their reunion dates, a free gig where tickets were first come first served. However, the tickets could only be redeemed with proof of ownership of a piece of Stone Roses memorabilia (such as a cd, record, or t-shirt). Which is a pretty cool way of ensuring that your fans are the ones who get to see the show, as opposed to more casual fans.

I’ve yet to watch the last 30 minutes or so of the movie, but the reunion concert only recently got underway.

In a related story, I will forever remember that Love Spreads was the first song ever to be played by the DJ at the first dance I went to near the end of my 9th grade year. That dance was also where I had my first dance and my first kiss.

Some literary quotes about music

So, I was looking for an unrelated quote and fell down the rabbit hole. Here are some great quotes about music from authors:

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
― Maya Angelou

“Some people have lives; some people have music.”
― John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
― Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

“It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.”
― Nick Hornby

“When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other.”
― Rob Sheffield, Love is a Mix Tape

FoW Xmas

Fountains of Wayne are an alternative band best known as the writers of 90s semi-hit Radiation Vibe. They were also the actual band playing the song in the Tom Hanks movie “That Thing You Do”.
In the mid-90s, they released a pair of Christmas themed songs, both of which have become some of the more popular holiday mp3s on my ipod.

Original and cover: Handle with Care

I did a search on my website this morning and couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted this cover before. The Traveling Wilburys were a super group in the finest sense of the word. Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty (hey, I just realized 3 of those made my Top 50 list this year) put out two albums between 1988 and 1990. They had several hits, but the most durable one, at least in my opinion, was Handle with Care.
The song is so non-gender specific, that it really could be sung by anybody, which makes it truly remarkable.

I remember this song from hours of watching music videos in the mid 90s, but another generation may remember the song as covered by Jenny Lewis, Connor Oberst, Benjamin Gibbard and M. Ward on Jenny’s 2005 solo album. (By the way, two of those artists made my Top 50 list this year too, three if you include the Ben of “Ben’s My Friend”). I was originally drawn to the album because Jenny Lewis was the singer of indie band Rilo Kiley, but was pleasantly surprised to see that this cover was on there. By the way, M. Ward is the male vocalist in She & Him.