Tea for the Bloggerman


T5AotW: Week Twelve
October 26, 2008, 4:29 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , ,

Week Twelve: October 26th

1. Levee Low Moan: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 3 by Wynton Marsalis
I like Wynton Marsalis a whole lot. He must’ve been born at the wrong time. Had he been born at the time of Miles and Coltrane he would’ve given them a run for their money. A modern-day master at the trumpet, Marsalis has done so much for jazz in this generation. Saw him on the Colbert Report the other night. He was explaining how jazz can expand one’s mind and make them aware of the effects of the financial crisis. It takes quite a mind to reason that one.

2. Songs of Love and Hate by Leonard Cohen
One of Leonard’s best albums and also his strangest. The title is very accurate to the content: about have the songs are soft songs of longing, a trend in Leonard’s music, and the other half are angry, revengeful ballads. It’s so strange. At least two songs, in my opinion, would make TOP-NOTCH punk rock songs. Perhaps this is why this album was so influential on someone like Nick Cave who had a copy of this album growing up in Australia. The true highlight of the album is Leonard’s legendary “Famous Blue Raincoat.” A masterpiece. He didn’t sing it at the Montreal concert I attended, but he did sing another song from this album, the awe-inspiring “Avalanche.” This album is the soundtrack of the void: the loneliness, the frustration the remorse, the fury.

3. The Best of Woody Guthrie
I bought this CD in a Greyhound bus station in Grand Junction, Colorado. I was thinking heavily on Woody Guthrie during my first major bus trip, and it just so happened that not even a day on the road I had come across a CD of his music. I bought it and listened to it on a small portable DVD player I had brought with me on my journey. Woody embodies the wanderlust inherent in the American spirit. From sea to shining sea, this land is our land, etc etc. I ain’t got no home, I’m just a-roaming ’round. I’m just a wanderin’ worker I go from town to town. I’ve been hittin’ some hard travelin’ I thought you know’d. I’ve been hittin’ some hard travelin’ way down the road. While Leonard echoes in the void of our souls, Woody echoes in the empty expanses of the American landscape.

4. Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones
The best album the Stones have done by far and surprisingly few hits on it! “Sweet Virginia,” that’s about it. When people think of their favorite Stones songs they think of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” “Paint it Black,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” etc etc. None of these are on this album but the album is a masterwork of dirty British blues-rock. Keith is a wailing guitar magician on this album, and Mick does a commendable job on the harmonica. Needs more recognition, definitely.

5. Best of Leadbelly
I need a better Leadbelly CD than this. This CD is only a half hour long. Got it with some blues three-pack I bought at Ross. While this CD in particular may be lacking, I can only praise the body of work Leadbelly has produced. He is a giant in the history of American music. Tom Waits was born the day after Leadbelly died. Tom Waits has said that he feels that Leadbelly bumped into him and knocked him over as they passed in the heavenly hallway. Goodnight Irene. Where Did You Sleep Last Night. John Hardy. Green Corn. Good Morning Blues. Black Betty. I checked out a couple of Leadbelly songbooks from the UNLV Music Library. If I can snatch just a small portion of Leadbelly’s technique my guitar playing will be forever changed.



Top Five Albums of the Week: Week Eleven
October 20, 2008, 11:53 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , ,

Week Eleven: October 20th

One day late, so what. Fuck you guys.

1. Are You Experienced? by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Who doesn’t love Jimi? No one will ever play the guitar like he did. Ever. Stevie Ray Vaughan got close, but alas. This is an excellent album but surprisingly not my favorite. Electric Ladyland, in my opinion, is Jimi’s best album, mainly because of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” but AYE? is still excellent.

2. The Best of Jimmy Reed
Jimmy! My boss has a record of Jimmy Reed giving little nuggets of wisdom before playing each song and each conversation is hilarious. I think Jimmy Reed was in a constant state of inebriation. He couldn’t maintain a single thought for longer than three seconds. But man, he could write a song. You’ve most likely heard some of his songs before, he’s been covered extensively by Elvis and others. “Big Boss Man,” “Honest I Do” “Bright Lights Big City.” “I wanted to write a soong about the brrriight lights I done saww and Mama Reed was like ‘you mean these kitchen lights right here?’ and I said naw i mean the brrright lights in the big cityyy.”

3. The Best of Sonny Boy Williamson I
John Lee Williamson, the first Sonny Boy Williamson and the more obscure of the two. While Chicago blues on the surface, John Lee’s unique harmonica playing is rooted in the Mississippi delta. Songs like “Good Morning Little School Girl” and “Early in the Morning” work their way into your head and stay there for a long time.

4. The White Album by The Beatles
I listened to a lot of Beatles at work on Saturday. What can I say? “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is such a majestic song it is unbelievable. Lyrically astounding, musically enthralling. Thank you Eric Clapton for contributing to that cut. The whole Patti Boyd thing gets a little complicated, but it all goes away amidst the soul-seeking whimsy of that song.

5. Station to Station by David Bowie
How can this album be so good?!?!??!?! Jesus Christ.



More of the Best of the Greatest Hits of David Bowie
October 14, 2008, 10:24 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , ,

My moped is basically dead, so I am stuck riding the bus to and from school and work. One good thing about riding the bus is the amount of idle thinking time it gives me. Here is one idea I had in this time. I’m going to list all of Bowie’s albums, in chronological order, then write my personal favorite song from each of the albums. Albums I haven’t heard will get a little dash. My top five Bowie songs will be bolded. I might add comments to each song later.

David Bowie (1967): –
David Bowie/Space Oddity (1969): “Space Oddity”
The Man Who Sold The World (1970): “The Man Who Sold the World”
Hunky Dory (1971): “Life on Mars?”
Ziggy Stardust (1972): “Lady Stardust”
Aladdin Sane (1973): “Drive-in Saturday”
Pin Ups (1973): “Port of Amsterdam”
Diamond Dogs (1974): “Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)”
David Live (1974): –
Young Americans (1975): “Young Americans”
Station To Station (1976): “Station to Station”
Low (1977): “Warsawza”
“Heroes” (1977): “”Heroes””
Stage (1978): –
Lodger (1979): –
Scary Monsters (1980): “Ashes to Ashes”
Let’s Dance (1983): “Modern Love”
Ziggy Stardust – The Motion Picture (1983): “Rock ‘n Roll Suicide”
Tonight (1984): I dunno, “Blue Jean”?
Labyrinth (1986): “As the World Falls Down”
Never Let Me Down (1987): –
Tin Machine (1989): I dunno, “Working Class Hero”?
Tin Machine II (1991): –
Oy Vey, Baby (1992): –
Black Tie White Noise (1993): “Black Tie White Noise”
The Buddha Of Suburbia (1993): –
1. Outside (1996): “Outside”
Earthling (1997): –
hours… (1999): –
Heathen (2002): “Sunday”
Reality (2003): “Never Get Old”

Life on Mars?

Lady Stardust

Rock ‘n Roll Suicide

Station to Station

Ashes to Ashes



Top Five Albums of the Week: Week Ten
October 14, 2008, 9:50 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , , ,

Week Ten: October 12th

1. Hot by Squirrel Nut Zippers
An excellent modern gypsy jazz/swing album. I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for gypsy jazz for a while now and this album makes that soft spot softer. Peoples, check these guys out. Also, check out John Jorgenson while you’re at it. I saw him live in Montreal. Another excellent American gypsy.

2. Al Jolson’s Greatest Hits
What a voice, huh? I’ve had this cassette for a while now but I’ve been listening to it a lot recently because of an increased fascination in blackface minstrelsy. I’ll be writing a 25 page paper on the subject next semester so this is mainly preparation.

3. The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings by Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane
Two giants of bop colliding in a work of musical artistry. It is a shame these two did not do more together, but what little they did do is magical. I have yet to hear the live album these two did that was released in 2005, but I only hear good things about it.

4. Let Love In by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
I like Nick Cave a whole lot. I was first exposed to him in “I’m Your Man,” the Leonard Cohen documentary/tribute concert film that was released a few years ago in which Cave sings the title song and “Suzanne.” He had an interesting voice and offered interesting insights in his interviews, so I checked him out. One of the songs I downloaded after I saw that film was “Red Right Hand” and I adored it. The title comes from Milton. Miltony goodness. It’s on this album. Huzzah.

5. Station to Station by David Bowie
I featured this album a few weeks ago but so what. This thing is cataloging what I listen to the most week by week and I listened to this more than anything else this week. Mostly the title track. An outstanding work of genius. Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to sore with and once I could never be down… Simply astounding.



Top Five Albums of the Week–Week Nine
October 5, 2008, 11:34 pm
Filed under: Concerts, music | Tags: , , ,

Week Nine: October 5th

1. Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quartet
I’ve been getting off on a bebop kick recently. Now I’ve listened to bop for a while now, mostly Thelonious Monk/Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie, but I’ve been expanding my horizons. I’m taking a class on the Beat writers at UNLV and Kerouac writes a lot about bebop so that was a bit of an inspiration. Miles is great. He’s different from some of the other bop players, a lot smoother and “cool”er. And this is a very cool CD. Short, but very sweet. Also featured in the Miles Davis Quartet is John Coltrane on sax before he went solo. It doesn’t get much better than that.

2. Giant Steps by John Coltrane
An influential recording by Coltrane. This is a fun album to listen closely to, follow along with the changes and the improvisational journeying. How does he do it? I don’t know. Jazz magic I guess. Also, Coltrane’s music reminds me of the music on The Sims. And I love The Sims.

3. The Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Collection
Now this was a real find! Found this yesterday and it is a monster compilation. The cuts on this two-disc collection are taken from various records produced by Alligator Records over their (then) 20-year existence. Artists on the record: Albert Collins, Big Walter Horton, Hound Dog Taylor, Johnny Winter, Sonny Terry, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Professor Longhair, Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins…blues titans. The greatest cut on this collection is the song “Brick” by Albert Collins simply because of the first two lines: “A brick baby, I’m going to throw a brick upside yo’ head/I said a brick baby, I’m going to throw a brick upside your head…”

4. “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
Now, I don’t have this song on any of my Frank Sinatra CDs (I’ve been listening to it on youtube) so I used Come Swing with Me for the picture. “Fly Me to the Moon” is a fantastic song. I fell in love with it from watching Neon Genesis Evangelion but soon found Frank’s version. I’m taking Guitar II at UNLV, taught by a guitarist by the name of Joe Lano. Jazz guitarist extraordinaire. He’s been teaching us some standards and I asked him if he could show us this song. He wrote it up on the board the next day and now we are busy working it out. I love it so much.

5. Various song by Mindless Self Indulgence
I saw MSI at the House of Blues on Friday. :] They were absolutely amazing. Where they get the energy from I have no idea. Of all their contemporaries (most of which suck) there is something about MSI that puts them on a whole ‘nother level. I got into them years ago when I was a little Jhonen Vasquez whore. Jhonen directed one of their music videos. Going to the concert was like a trip back into my past. The sounds and lyrics and themes. It was very refreshing. Thank you Jimmy and the gang.



The Best of the Greatest Hits of David Bowie
October 5, 2008, 12:33 am
Filed under: music | Tags: ,

As you can see in a previous post, I have a lot of David Bowie stuff. And in particular I seem to have a large number of greatest hits CDs for no other reason but to have them. I have all the songs already, I don’t need them. But, you know us collectors. Gotta have it all I reckon.

I was thinking about some of the track selection on some of those compliations and I got to wondering what the compliers were smoking prior to making their choices. Let’s Dance? Fashion? Jesus Christ. So now I, with what little life I have, have decided to make the work of the next set of Bowie compliers much easier. Here below is my list of the true best of David Bowie. The first list is my first run-down of his top songs (disclaimer: this is all my opinion, no disrespect to anyone). The second list is an expanded list, expanded to 38 tracks (the number of songs on the two-disc Best of Bowie complation). And finally the third list is a compact, single disc of 20 songs (the number of songs on the single disc version of the Best of Bowie). Enjoy!

THE BEST

1. Space Oddity (Space Oddity)
2. The Man Who Sold The World (The Man Who Sold the World)
3. Black Country Rock (The Man Who Sold the World)
4. Life on Mars (Hunky Dory)
5. Queen Bitch (Hunky Dory)
6. Starman (Ziggy Stardust)
7. Lady Stardust (Ziggy Stardust)
8. Rock ‘n Roll Suicide (Live version from Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture)
9. Aladdin Sane (Aladdin Sane)
10. Drive-In Saturday (Aladdin Sane)
11. My Death (Live at Santa Monica ’72)
12. Diamond Dogs (Diamond Dogs)
13. Young Americans (Young Americans)
14. Station to Station (Station to Station)
15. Wild is the Wind (Station to Station)
16. Sound and Vision (Low)
17. Warsawza (Low)
18. Subterraneans (Low)
19. “Heroes” (Full-length album version from “Heroes”)
20. Ashes to Ashes (Single version from Scary Monsters)
21. Under Pressure (Single)
22. Outside (1. Outside)
23. Hallo Spaceboy (1. Outside)
24. Sunday (Heathen)
25. Heathen–The Rays (Heathen)
26. Never Get Old (Reality)

Two Disc

1. Space Oddity (Space Oddity)
2. The Man Who Sold The World (The Man Who Sold the World)
3. Black Country Rock (The Man Who Sold the World)
4. Life on Mars (Hunky Dory)
5. Queen Bitch (Hunky Dory)
6. Starman (Ziggy Stardust)
7. Lady Stardust (Ziggy Stardust)
8. Rock ‘n Roll Suicide (Live version from Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture)
9. Aladdin Sane (Aladdin Sane)
10. Drive-In Saturday (Aladdin Sane)
11. My Death (Live at Santa Monica ’72)
12. Diamond Dogs (Diamond Dogs)
13. Young Americans (Young Americans)
14. Station to Station (Station to Station)
15. Wild is the Wind (Station to Station)
16. Sound and Vision (Low)
17. Warsawza (Low)
18. Subterraneans (Low)
19. “Heroes” (Full-length album version from “Heroes”)
20. Ashes to Ashes (Single version from Scary Monsters)
21. Under Pressure (Single)
22. Outside (1. Outside)
23. Hallo Spaceboy (1. Outside)
24. Sunday (Heathen)
25. Heathen–The Rays (Heathen)
26. Never Get Old (Reality)
27. Ziggy Stardust (Ziggy Stardust)
28. Five Years (Ziggy Stardust)
29. Changes (Hunky Dory)
30. Rebel Rebel (Diamond Dogs)
31. TVC15 (Station to Station)
32. 5:15 The Angels Have Gone (Heathen)
33. Slow Burn (Heathen)
34. Hang on to Yourself (Ziggy Stardust)
35. Golden Years (Station to Station)
36. Art Decade (Low)
37. Modern Love (Let’s Dance)
38. Some Are (Outtake from Low)

Single Disc

1. Space Oddity (Space Oddity)
2. The Man Who Sold The World (The Man Who Sold the World)
3. Life on Mars (Hunky Dory)
4. Queen Bitch (Hunky Dory)
5. Starman (Ziggy Stardust)
6. Lady Stardust (Ziggy Stardust)
7. Rock ‘n Roll Suicide (Live version from Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture)
8. Drive-In Saturday (Aladdin Sane)
9. My Death (Live at Santa Monica ’72)
10. Young Americans (Young Americans)
11. Station to Station (Station to Station)
12. Sound and Vision (Low)
13. Warsawza (Low)
14. Subterraneans (Low)
15. “Heroes” (Full-length album version from “Heroes”)
16. Ashes to Ashes (Single version from Scary Monsters)
17. Outside (1. Outside)
18. Sunday (Heathen)
19. Heathen–The Rays (Heathen)
20. Never Get Old (Reality)