Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jónsi - "Go" - March 2010

The only way I can describe this album is pure joy.

The Tourists - self-titled debut (June 1979)

Here we have a 24 year old Annie Lennox and a 26 year old Dave Stewart with The Tourists. Their self-titled debut album was released in June 1979. All of the songs were written by vocalist/guitarist Peet Coombs, except for one: "The Loneliest Man in The World" was co-written by Dave and Annie. It's by far the best song on the album, and was the only song from their debut to hit the U.K. Top 40 (peaking at #32). The first Top 40 hit for Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox... but of course, many more would follow in time.

Spandau Ballet - Live at the 9:30 Club - April 28, 2015.

Here is my review of the Spandau Ballet show at the 9:30 Club this past Tuesday night, April 28, 2015. Amazing performance.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spandau Ballet - "The Singles Collection"

Spandau Ballet was one of the most important bands for me when I was a kid. I wore out the "True" album (1983), and then branched out to get their earlier LPs, as well as their 1984 album "Parade" when it came out. In particular the wonderfully dramatic "Gold" was one of my very favorite singles during that era in the early '80s when I was really just starting to explore music beyond what was in my parents' collection. I still think it is one of the greatest pop singles of the '80s. Never would imagine that I'd get the chance to see them in concert, but that's exactly what I will be doing tomorrow night. Very excited!! Pictured is the "Singles Collection" which came out in 1985, and this is my original copy - 30 years later. Great music is timeless.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Peter Gabriel - "Us"

Digging in the dirt - Stay with me, I need support
I'm digging in the dirt - To find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tricky - "Maxinquaye"

One of the essential albums of the '90s. Tricky's brilliant Maxinquaye. This is a 2012 remaster from Music on Vinyl. A+++

"La Bamba" Soundtrack - 1987 (new reissue)

Now playing, another new arrival. The excellent soundtrack to the 1987 film "La Bamba" featuring 8 tracks by Los Lobos + 4 other songs. Newly remastered edition, sounds fantastic. Los Lobos' cover of Ritchie Valens' title-song was a #1 single, and "Come On Let's Go" was also a substantial hit.

Japan - "Obscure Alternatives"

Now playing Japan's second album, released a mere five months after their debut, in November 1978. "Obscure Alternatives" is stronger overall than their debut and continues with the more rock-edged sound. This is a 2010 reissue from Music on Vinyl featuring a second disc with non-album singles and live tracks.

Japan - "Adolescent Sex"

Received a nice stack of new vinyl acquisitions in the mail on Friday and Saturday. Getting through them slowly. Now playing is the debut album from Japan, "Adolescent Sex." It was originally released in 1978 - this is the 2010 remaster/reissue by Music on Vinyl. It sounds magnificent. It's a unique album in Japan's catalogue, as it has a much more rock vibe than their later stuff.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

U2 - "All That You Can't Leave Behind"

U2 released what is easily their best album since Achtung Baby! with 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Seems hard to believe it's been 15 years. Several big singles: "Beautiful Day," "Walk On," "Elevation," and "Stuck In a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" were all very successful. My favorite track is "Kite" - just really beautiful and powerful.

Is about to give
I can feel it coming
I think I know what it is

I'm not afraid to die
I'm not afraid to live
And when I'm flat on my back
I hope to feel like I did

And hardness
It sets in
You need some protection
The thinner the skin

I want you to know
That you don't need me anymore
I want you to know
You don't need anyone
Or anything at all

Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to say what it is will break you
I don't know
Which way the wind will blow

Who's to know when the time has come around
Don't want to see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye

It's somewhere I can taste the salty sea
There's a kite blowing out of control on the breeze
I wonder what's gonna happen to you
You wonder what has happened to me

I'm a man
I'm not a child
A man who sees
The shadow behind your eyes

Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to say what it is will break you
I don't know
Where the wind will blow

Who's to know when the time has come around
I don't want to see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye

Did I waste it
Not so much I couldn't taste it
Life should be fragrant
Rooftop to the basement

The last of the rocks stars
When hip-hop drove the big cars
In the time when new media
Was the big idea
What was the big idea

Disclosure - "Settle"

WAY overdue to spin this one. What a classic.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere"

Young's first album with The Horse. A galloping garage-rock juggernaut released in May 1969. The first of many great collaborations with Neil and his loping, ragged launching pad that he uses to scratch his itch to rock out. We're talking "Down By the River," "Cinnamon Girl" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" - actually every song is essentially. One of the great rock albums from the tail-end of the '60s.

U2 - "Songs of Innocence - Record Store Day edition

I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of U2's new RSD limited edition of their excellent "Songs of Innocence" LP. The RSD "flipping" is going on in full force. Check out one listing for the U2 album. Insane.

Fifteen Essential Albums for 2015 So Far (Metro Weekly Article)

You can read here at this link my piece on the Fifteen Essential Albums for 2015 thus far.

Tori Amos reissues "Little Earthquakes" and "Under the Pink" (Metro Weekly Article)

Here is my piece regarding the new 2015 reissues of Tori Amos' classic albums Little  Earthquakes and Under the Pink. You can read at the link here at Metro Weekly.

Topster: 100 Top Albums

I did this very quickly and i'm sure I forgot some, but here is a good approximation of my Top 100 favorite albums.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wooden Shjips - "Back to Land"

This was a recommendation from Dempsey at Mobius Records in Fairfax. I'm really happy with it. Late night, stoner music with a nice, warm, psychedelic vibe.

Rush - "A Farewell to Kings"

September 1977. Rush - "A Farewell to Arms" (new reissue).
I shared "Xanadu," an amazing guitar piece, but this album is more known for the single "Closer To The Heart."

This is the latest in the series of Rush albums being reissued. I already picked up "Fly By Night, "Caress of Steel" and "2112." Picked this up at Mobius Records in Fairfax. I'm very pleased with this reissue series by Rush. I hope it continues into the '90s. 

Top 25 Artists Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (first published in Metro Weekly)

Here is, in heavily edited format, My list of the Top 25 Artists Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (link). The original version was significantly longer with more details on each artist.

Published in Metro Weekly on April 18, 2015. I'm going to be going back through in the days ahead and publishing the links to my key stories from the last couple years that I have been writing at Metro Weekly.

The Zombies - "The Best Of..."

I found this compilation by The Zombies at Record and Tape Exchange today, and I picked it up because it's in perfect condition. After researching on Discogs, it appears to be a 1982 Canadian-only compilation on London Records. It has a very nice track-listing.

The American Dream - self-titled

Excellent, rather obscure 1970 self-titled LP by The American Dream. Philadelphia area band, sorta psychedelic tinged guitar-rock but very melodic, with nice harmonies. Produced by Todd Rundgren. A real hidden gem. The only album they ever put out. 

Bill Withers - "Still Bill"

Found a good condition used LP copy of Bill Withers' 1972 album "Still Bill." I've been looking for this one for a while, so I'm pretty pleased. The sound quality really impresses me - this is one well-produced album. It sounds fresh and alive. A great pressing. And Withers' songs and the performances are outstanding. "Who is He (and what is he to you)?" has that slow, funky bass groove... it's just killer. And of course "Use Me" and "Lean on Me" are classic singles that have been covered many times.

"Still Bill" is a hugely influential album that deserves every accolade.