Thursday, October 27, 2016

Barry Gibb? Really?

When the 1970s ended, I was very happy. I loved punk, glam rock and some of the classic rock but I loathed, with all of my heart and soul, the disco era which dominated the decade. I thought all of it sucked and the focus of my disdain was the zeitgeist of the era, the film Saturday Night Fever.

The Bee Gees handled the majority of the cuts on the soundtrack to the film. Pretty much every single human being I knew owned this album and played it constantly. The radio played many of the songs over and over again until my friends and I were sick to death of them. So, I got burned out on the Bee Gees really fast.

A couple of weeks ago, I flipped on Later with Jools Holland to check out some new music. This is what I saw.

I was stunned. Not only was the track completely awesome but I realized that the much younger me had probably been too harsh on the Bee Gees. After all, they certainly were representative of their place in music history. As a music ultra fan, I have to admit that they helped to define an era.

So, I highly recommend picking up Barry Gibb's new record, In The Now. The entire album is fantastic, especially if you are still a Bee Gees fan or even soul music devotee. Hearing his voice brings me back to that time in the late 70s when everyone just had to be dancing!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Autumn Music Series: Snow Patrol and Tired Pony

Dundee, Scotland's Snow Patrol is close to perfection in terms of being an autumn band. Heck, they are just about the perfect band without that qualifier! Their songs radiate romance by the fire with a nice Pinot Noir and a snuggly, loved one nestled in your arms.

Their entire catalog is a must as is front man Gary Lightbody's side project, Tired Pony. If you are putting together a fall play list for a long walk on a leaf swept trail, here are some essential tracks, in no particular order, from this artist.

1. "Crack the Shutters" (taken from A Hundred Million Suns)

A track that manages to be both romantic and stadium sing along at the same time. The lyrics are amazing and, honestly, the whole track is shovel to the head stunning.

2. "Northwestern Skies" (taken from The Place We Ran From)

Gary Lightbody got lost in 2010 in the northwest part of the United States and somehow found Peter Buck and Zooey Deschanel, of all folks, and made this incredible record under the name Tired Pony. This is the opening track and the echo...the lyrics...just the whole harvest time...

3. "If There's A Rocket, Tie Me To It" (taken from A Hundred Million Suns)

This one reminds me a lot of U2. I've played it many times while driving through Wisconsin in October and November.

4. "Batten Down The Hatch" (taken from When It's All Over, We Still Have To Clear Up)

This quiet little number showcases Lighbody's soft and mega romantic voice. Perfect for a fire at home or at the cabin.

5. "All Things At Once" (taken from The Ghost of the Mountain)

This track is from Tired Pony's second release and it's a fucking corker. We have the requisite echo-y voices, of course, but we also have...pedal steel! That instrument really makes a good autumn track.

6. "I Am A Landslide" (taken from The Place We Ran From)

This song just makes me's so fucking good. I can't decide if I'd want this track or "Fiesta" by the Pogues played at my funeral. Most people that know me well, consider me a landslide:) Iain Archer demolishes the lead vocal.

7. "Get On The Road"  (taken from The Place We Ran From).

A duet between Gary and Zooey...simply gorgeous. This has possibly the greatest verse of all time....

Kiss like a fight that neither wins 
One tender payment for our sins 
You are the drug that I can't quit 
Your perfect chaos is a perfect fit

Reminds me of someone...:)

8. "Grazed Knees" (taken from Final Straw)

A lilting, soft number that reminds of the very end of autumn...late November perhaps...

9. "Lifeboats" (taken from A Hundred Million Suns)

This track has a nice and very echo-y acoustic guitar. Great build to the chorus. I like the message as well.

10. "Make This Go On Forever" (taken from Eyes Open)

Both anthemic and pleading at the same time. I had someone apologize to me once singing this song. It was quite humbling...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Calling All Dylan Fans

Fresh off the heels of his Nobel Prize for Literature, Bob Dylan is experiencing a renewed resurgence of interest. This recent piece in the Times discusses the early years of his time in New York City. As I read it, I felt as though I was right back there with him and Suze Rotolo as they took their famous stroll down the snow covered Jones Street in Manhattan's lower west side.

Perhaps a listen to the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is in order today!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Nothing Revolutionary At All

Every few years, Green Day releases a new record and it's really great. Revolution Radio, released last week, follows this pattern. It's 12 outstanding tracks, once again, from the very well aged trio of former punk rockers. There really isn't anything revolutionary about it because they made another fucking awesome record just like they always do.

Green Day makes albums like people used to make them back in the 70s and 80s. In fact, listening to this new record, even from the first few chords and lyrics, makes me feel like I'm a teenager again in those decades. Like American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, Revolution Radio is a thematic album that touches on themes of old age, rebellion, war, and, of course, love. Our current political state is ever present as well.

My favorite track is the title number. It's vintage Green Day that makes you want to jump around, do a keg stand, and party with your pals. Check it out!