Sunday, June 2, 2013

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young: Deja Vu

I've heard this album several times over the past couple of years and was really taken with how strong the songs were from beginning to end. It definitely has that "folk" flavor with a country twist that was ebbing in and out of popularity in the late 60's and early 70's and it has a strong dose of "hippy" thrown in for good measure. Neil Young's guitar is great and their voices mesh together like cotton candy for your ears. Graham Nash wrote his two most iconic songs "Our House" and "Teach Your Children" and as strong as those songs are, the non-hits such as "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Deja Vu" stand right beside them in terms of strength and "enjoyability". 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Band: The Band

Sometimes you just over look an album or a band. In this case, I did both. Very earthy sounding, with great musicianship and songwriting. "Lonesome Pine" and "King Harvest" are highlights for me, but I'm not sure I can find a song that I don't care about on this record. It may well be my very favorite album ever. I guess I gotta go drag out "The Last Waltz"! 

James Brown : Live At The Apollo 1963

This another great album from Chris that I am sorry I've missed for all these years. James Brown was doing funk and soul when people didn't know what those two words meant in a musical context. It's a very short album, and one that I think I'll be listening to again pretty soon. I have always thought of James Brown as a bit of a caricature based on his appearance in the Rocky film, but the man could sing and he delivered some punch, especially as a young man. This album is ranked #24 on the Rolling Stones best of all time list. 

It's smooookin! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hot Buttered Soul: Isaac Hayes

Chris brought it with Isaac Hayes. I've always respected Hayes work, but never really dug into it beyond what I heard on the radio or in a film. Four songs in forty-five minutes may seem like a lot to handle, but it's not. Put the headphones on and just melt into the music. There is no need to compartmentalize the songs. It's one big piece of butter, slowly melting into your soul. Hayes' renditions of "Walk On By" and "The Wichita Lineman" are stellar and put a fresh spin on those classics. 

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes soul or R&B. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lupe Fiasco: LASERS

CHOICE:  Freddy

I have to admit that my knowledge and exposure to hip hop is limited. Yeah, I've heard a lot of rappers and rap groups, mostly from when I was younger, but I have really started to get more interested in it. Recently, Immortal Technique, KRS-1, and Lupe Fiasco have caught my ear. This brings us to LASERS. It got hit and miss reviews, but I'm in love with this record. Chris had tried to expose me to Lupe awhile back, but I wasn't down with it. Well, after giving him a real chance, I can say that I am bought and sold. This record brings true hip hop sensibility into the realm of what some call "hip Pop". Very accessible musically and stylistically, but challenging from a lyrical standpoint. Politics and world events are all over this album and while some of the topics are up for debate as to what "truth" is, there is no doubting that Fiasco is concerned about the world we live in and how the affluent use their power to gain, while leaving the rank and file human being behind. "Words I Never Said" is the backbone of the record and it warrants a listen as you watch the video.  Words I Never Said: Lupe Fiasco  There are a few songs that do not deal with politics in an overt manner, such as "Till I Get There", which is really a fun song to listen to. I think Chris and I liked it equally well. We talked about the album and its' themes for over an hour after the listen. Not very many albums of recent release have caused us to do that. Bravo to Lupe Fiasco.

Top Songs:  "Words I Never Said", "Till I Get There", "The Show Goes On"
Charts:  Debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freddy's Album Choices

 (scored on a scale of 1-5 by Freddy)

Pet Sounds -- The Beach Boys  ** 1/2
Paul's Boutique -- The Beastie Boys  ****
The White Album -- The Beatles  *****
Bill Withers -- Bill Withers* (compilation)  *****
All Shook Down -- The Replacements   ***
Amused To Death -- Roger Waters   *** 1/2
Automatic For The People -- REM   ****
Band On The Run -- Paul McCartney & Wings    ****
5th Symphony -- Beethoven     ****
Bloodletting -- Concrete Blonde   *** 1/2
Brainwashed -- George Harrison   ****
Bud Smokers Only -- Bone, Thugs -n- Harmony   ***
City To City -- Gerry Rafferty   *** 1/2
Dark Side Of The Moon -- Pink Floyd   *****
The Wall -- Pink Floyd   ****
End Of The Innocence -- Don Henley    ***
Thriller -- Michael Jackson   ***
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere- Neil Young      ****
Licensed To Ill -- The Beastie Boys     *** 1/2
The Ramblin' Man -- Waylon Jennings     ****
The Royal Scam -- Steely Dan    ****
Rumours -- Fleetwood Mac   *****
Some Girls -- The Rolling Stones    ****
Trans -- Neil Young   ***
Living & Dyin' In 3/4 Time-- Jimmy Buffett     ****
Mono-- Paul Westerberg (aka Grandpaboy)     ***
Bee Gees -- Compilation of Bee Gees songs    ***
Division Bell-- Pink Floyd   ***
Pieces Of A Man-- Gil Scott-Heron     *****
Born In The USA-- Bruce Springsteen    ****
Just Add Ice / All About Town-- The V-roys  ****
Hotel California-- The Eagles   *****
Tapestry-- Carole King  ****
Compilation-- Johnny Cash  *****
End Of The Innocence-- Don Henley   ***
Friday Night Is Killing Me-- Bash & Pop *** 1/2
Rust Never Sleeps-- Neil Young  ***
Exodus-- Bob Marley ****
Check Your Head-- Beastie Boys  ****
Black Ribbons-- Shooter Jennings & Heirophant  ****
The Band-- The Band *****
Business As Usual-- Men At Work  *** 1/2
Goin' Down Rockin'-- Waylon Jennings *** 1/2
Compilation-- Yes *****
Cry Like A Baby-- The Box Tops *** 1/2
Pleased To Meet Me-- The Replacements **** 1/2
Hysteria-- Def Leppard ****
Who's Next-- The Who  ****
Times Like These-- Slim Dunlap ***
Seed Of Memory-- Terry Reid *****
Cry Like A Baby-- The Box Tops ***
Mermaid Avenue-- Billy Bragg & Wilco ****
Aja-- Steely Dan *** 1/2
Compilation-- The Monkees ***
Sea Change-- Beck ****
Bat Out Of Hell-- Meat Loaf ****
The Other Life-- Shooter Jennings *****
Basement Tapes-- Bob Dylan & TheBand ***
Elvis Tribute-- Elvis Presley ***
Deja Vu-- Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young ****
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-- Wilco ****
Sound of Lies-- The Jayhawks *****
Dirt Farmer-- Levon Helm ***
Number 1 Record-- Big Star *** 1/2
Mexican Moon-- Concrete Blonde ***
Suicaine Gratifaction-- Paul Westerberg ***
Compilation-- Neil Diamond ***
Compilation--Don Williams ***

Chris' Album Choices

* - denotes rating from Freddy (based on 1-5 stars)

Alligator--The National  
The Animal Years--Josh Ritter     *** 1/2
Consider The Doors--The Doors* (compilation)    ***
Broken Bells--Broken Bells       ****
Chicago--Chicago Transit Authority      *****
Child is Father to the Man--Blood, Sweat &Tears     ***
East-West--Paul Butterfield Blues Band    ***
Endtroducing--DJ Shadow  
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground--Kay Kay   *** 1/2
Fate--Dr. Dog
Forever Changes--Love
Glass Houses--Billy Joel     ****
Guero--Beck   *** 1/2
John Prine--John Prine      ****
La La Land--Wax Fang   ***
The Low End Theory--A Tribe Called Quest     ****
The Notorious Byrd Brothers--The Byrds    *** 1/2
The Shepherd's Dog--Iron & Wine     ****
Recovering the Satellites--The Counting Crows     ****
Summerteeth--Wilco   *** 1/2
Tilt--Scott Walker     ****
Innervisions-- Stevie Wonder    *** 1/2
Trace -- Son Volt         ****
Life's Rich Pageant-- REM      ***
Led Zeppelin 4 -- Led Zeppelin      ****
Jimi Hendrix Best Of-- Jimi Hendrix   ***
What's Goin' On-- Marvin Gaye  ** 1/2
Curse Your Branches-- David Bazan      ***
Shake Your Money Maker-- Black Crowes ***
James McMurtry--  ****
I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning-- Bright Eyes  ****
Sail Away-- Randy Newman *** 1/2
Mule Variations-- Tom Waits ****
East Nashville Skyline-- Todd Snider ***
Rockin' The Suburbs-- Ben Folds *** 1/2
Historical Conquests-- Josh Ritter  ***
Gris Gris-- Dr. John ****
Wichita Lineman-- Glen Campbell *** 1/2
Clarence Greenwood Recordings-- Citizen Cope   **** 1/2
Paradise & Lunch-- Ry Cooder  ****
In Search Of The Lost Chord-- Moody Blues *** 1/2
Hot Buttered Soul-- Isaac Hayes  ****
Pacific Ocean Blue-- Dennis Wilson ****
Buhloone Mindstate-- De La Soul **** 1/2
Violent Femmes-- Violent Femmes ****
Emotionalism-- Avett Brothers ****
Animals-- Pink Floyd ****
Compilation-- White Stripes ****
Down With Wilco-- The Minus 5 *** 1/2
Walking In Space-- Quincy Jones ****
Ziggy Stardust-- David Bowie ****
Green River-- CCR ****
Compilation-- Flaming Lips ****
Youth & Young Manhood-- Kings of Leon ***
Sticks & Stones-- The 77's ****
Live At The Apollo-- James Brown ****
Shine On Brightly-- Procol Harum *****
Graceland-- Paul Simon ****
The People's Key-- Bright Eyes *** 1/2
Purple Rain-- Prince **** 1/2
Cease To Begin-- Band of Horses *** 1/2
Bad Books-- Bad Books ***
Andorra-- Caribou *** 1/2
Red Headed Stranger-- Willie Nelson ****
Woodstock: Concert Documentary-- **** 1/2
David Poe: David Poe-- ****
Fun House: The Stooges  ***