What are you listening to right now?

This is for all non-EC or peripheral-EC topics. We all know how much we love talking about 'The Man' but sometimes we have other interests.
Poor Deportee
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Chocolate Town

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Poor Deportee » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:54 pm

I'd say that, as a rule, humour is not a requirement of great music (though it helps); but humourlessness is incompatible with it.

Of course, this rule isn't absolute. Sometimes dire anger or naked woe are just what the doctor ordered. It's more that a sustained exercise - e.g., a whole album or body of work - of ponderous humourlessness grinds on one's patience. Or at least my patience.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns
I hope no living thing cries over his bones

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:17 pm

Thank you - PD- my point exactly but better stated by you than I would have accomplished. The new album is not soulless in its totality. But a great deal of it suffers from a tiredness and lack of humor- the world is not always such a somber place. I do like the title song which is getting strong air play in my neck of the woods and "Here Comes the Night Time" with its two distinct voices and the songs "It's Never Over'oh Orpheus" and "Afterlife" which by their subject matter are greatly aided by some 'fun' being injected by the band.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

User avatar
Otis Westinghouse
Posts: 8856
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:32 pm
Location: The theatre of dreams

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:42 pm

Having now got it and played it through two or three times, I heartily disagree with Petridis, the above and whoever else thinks Reflektor is a drop in form after The Suburbs. It's maybe not got as many great songs, but I love the 2CD division and find each one makes a nicely formed whole, and also found playing one after the other worked a treat too, the way you might play all four sides of vinyl back in the day too. For me they are a unique band who very much like their somewhat more advanced contemporaries and my other contenders for Current Great American Band, Wilco and The National, have their own sound, vision, worldview and spirit. Several songs strike me early on as very powerful indeed, e.g. the above cited, but several others too. There's even some humour in there, yes! I definitely wouldn't rush to write this off, if you loved the earlier stuff, even allowing for Neon Bible being definitely weaker, there's still lots to savour here (as there was on NB too). As with the above, each album is a development, each has its own feel. I look forward to spending many more hours exploring this one. 2013 is looking very good for albums by favourite artists overall. WUG wouldn't be in my top 5, for sure.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

Poor Deportee
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Chocolate Town

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Poor Deportee » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:01 am

Otis Westinghouse wrote:WUG wouldn't be in my top 5, for sure.


Well, penury leads me to be fairly sparse in my music gathering, so I'm not one to judge on this question...but I will say that I can't fathom ranking Bowie's serviceable album ahead of WUG, that fabulous record. Just my two cents.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

User avatar
Otis Westinghouse
Posts: 8856
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:32 pm
Location: The theatre of dreams

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:21 pm

Do you find yourself returning to it and listening to it? I don't. Someone said you had to play it lots to really get it - surely too much work. Glad he did it, but mid-table at best. Only really two to three memorable things on it I'd want to listen to again in a few years time. I'd say it's pretty telling that on the back of it he does a solo tour with only three of the songs performed to date. I thought maybe the magnificent Walk Us Uptown would get a solo workout, but not so far. For me the setlists on the solo tour are much more mouth-watering than this release was.

I'd take Bowie's magical Where Are We Now? over anything on WUG, though Tripwire and The Puppet... are decent attempts at magnificent songs, and of course they're the two he's playing solo, along with a splash of Cinco Minutos.

I do have a problem, though, with too much music to listen to. Penury aside, I can't resist getting CDs in my hands from Amazon Marketplace at £1.27 total, 1p for the CD and £1.26 P&P.

Right now I'm trying to come to terms with the gorgeous behemoth that is Reflektor and not lose for a moment the headrush of pop genius that is Crimson/Red (who has written a better pop tune this century than Billy?), whilst also cramming for a heady double London gig outing to The National, whose Trouble Will Find Me is arguably the album of the year for me, just as High Violet was in 2010, and then Aimee Mann, who I love to bits but simply don't know well enough, despite having lots of her albums, with The Forgotten Arm recently added for next to nothing on Marketplace.

Sigh.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:15 pm

A Wednesday in the cube and the musical company of Blue Mitchell's "Down With It" from 1965. It is a follow up to his first leader record with former bandmates in Horace Silver's major unit and it is quite lovely. Junior Cook on tenor, Chick Corea on piano, Gene Taylor on bass and Al Foster on drums. It kicks off with an energetic reading of "Hi-Heel Sneakers" where everybody gets a chance to stretch their legs and chops in an attempt to cash in on the recent success of work like "The Sidewinder" by Lee Morgan. It works. The two real standouts for me are a ballad "Alone, Alone, Alone" where Mitchell is sublime and a samba tune at the end "Samba De Stacy" which gets a hard bop variation and avoids the cliches that so often pervaded many of the samba interpretations of the day. This is a joyous, fun record- it never takes itself too seriously. The years of working the club circuit with this unit shows- they are professional and they have a rambunctious love for the music they are playing.

Here is Alone, alone, alone


http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 3320,d.aWc


As to WUG- I find it very playable- often repetitious- but playable. Not in my top 10 of his records - middling as you say. Wardo 68 has a good take on it- and I agree with him about the singing which is top shelf when he lets himself go on the record- the double tracking is a welcome return. "Come the Meantimes" and the title track are my two favorites followed by the ending ballad and the 'extra' tune "The Puppet Has Cut His Strings". I can see myself periodically returning to it. I expected far worse prior to the album's release.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

Poor Deportee
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Chocolate Town

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Poor Deportee » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:55 pm

Some of you may find this amusing. In cleaning out my garage, I discovered a stash of old CDs long stored away, including "ABBA's Greatest Hits." A band I really haven't paid attention to since I was a kid. I started playing this as I made the long drive downtown to my daughter's practices for her role as mouse in "The Nutcracker." Of course within moments she was grooving away in the back seat, while up front my mind was blowing. :lol: Truly a jaw-dropping mastery of pop form - the combination of moronic lyrics ("Fernando" excepted) with unbelievably prolific hooks - several to a song - stunning melodies and hair-raising harmonies puts one in mind of early Beatles music. Too bad about the monotonous disco backbeat, but what structure! This stuff is a Ph.D. in bubblegum pop...with quite possibly some of the most glittering pre-choruses ever recorded. Just thought I'd share my bemused rediscovery of this ear jewelry. :mrgreen:
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:15 am

Love that- one of my guilty pleasures from the past few years was the ABBA infused musical film that featured Meryl Streep :mrgreen: Besides no less than EC enjoys them[witness For the Stars, not that we need his validation to enjoy the music. :wink:
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

Poor Deportee
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Chocolate Town

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Poor Deportee » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:37 am

Jack of All Parades wrote:Love that- one of my guilty pleasures from the past few years was the ABBA infused musical film that featured Meryl Streep :mrgreen: Besides no less than EC enjoys them[witness For the Stars, not that we need his validation to enjoy the music. :wink:


As we know from Bruno's terrific book, Armed Forces was heavily informed by what ABBA was doing, along with Bowie and some others. I can certainly see why Elvis likes them. Anyone with a serious interest in pop songcraft cannot but be fascinated by these constructions. The harmonies alone are mind-bending, revealing this to be a truly lost art in the realms of top-40 pop music. (Now everything seems to be pitch-controlled squealing of banal sentiments bolted to banal melodies, with none of the restless insistence upon layering hook upon hook we find in this music. One barely-memorable pseudo-hook seems to be enough now, provided you are one of the favoured few manufactured "stars." Then again, I avoid listening to mainstream radio, so maybe I speak more from ignorance).

I was always a bit puzzled by his claim that "You Tripped At Every Step" is an ABBA song. But you can see some sort of kinship between that and a certain type of ABBA number, e.g., "What's the Name of the Game," which has a similar midtempo, acoustic vibe.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

User avatar
verbal gymnastics
Posts: 10917
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 6:44 am
Location: In a very fashionable hovel

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:18 pm

Please please me - The Beatles
Look at me now
My how things have changed

User avatar
Otis Westinghouse
Posts: 8856
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:32 pm
Location: The theatre of dreams

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:41 pm

Shudder! Recent secondary school quiz night question 'What was the Beatles' first album?' and I answered Beatles For Sale. Something felt wrong. Maybe if I owned it I'd know. Just been sorting and starting to alphabetize and add all recent CDs, of which there are many, and space is a recurring issue, as is the time to play them. Was enjoying Aimee Mann's last one Charmer as I did it.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

invisible Pole
Posts: 2208
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 2:20 pm
Location: Poland

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby invisible Pole » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:38 am

Another ABBA fan here. :-)
I think one of the things that attracted Elvis to ABBA was how quite often "serious" lyrics dealing with the break-up of relationships was married with upbeat, enjoyable tunes. Knowing Me, Knowing You is a perfect example.
Elvis himself is no stranger to similar songwriting techniques.
If you don't know what is wrong with me
Then you don't know what you've missed

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:10 am

[quote="invisible Pole"]Another ABBA fan here. :-)
I think one of the things that attracted Elvis to ABBA was how quite often "serious" lyrics dealing with the break-up of relationships was married with upbeat, enjoyable tunes. Knowing Me, Knowing You is a perfect example.
Elvis himself is no stranger to similar songwriting techniques.[/
quote]

A very good point and observation-I was previously not thinking in that direction. Thank you.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

Poor Deportee
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Chocolate Town

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Poor Deportee » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:48 pm

Jack of All Parades wrote:
invisible Pole wrote:Another ABBA fan here. :-)
I think one of the things that attracted Elvis to ABBA was how quite often "serious" lyrics dealing with the break-up of relationships was married with upbeat, enjoyable tunes. Knowing Me, Knowing You is a perfect example.
Elvis himself is no stranger to similar songwriting techniques.[/
quote]

A very good point and observation-I was previously not thinking in that direction. Thank you.


"Knowing Me Knowing You" is actually a strong lyric - somewhat akin to "This House is Empty Now" or Lowe's wonderful "House for Sale," with an added element of laconically fatalistic self-criticism in the chorus. ("Knowing us, the relationship is a hopeless case" - shades of Dylan's "we're idiots, babe"). The whole song and production are rather devious in effect; deceptively jaunty in the chorus, complete with that fey "uh-huuuuh" backing vocal (a good example of ABBA's generosity with hooks), but there's real sadness in the verse and pre-chorus. Check out the downward turn in the echo on "bad days" in the second verse. Where most ABBA lyrics bolt plodding or embarassing lyrics to spectacular tunesmithing, the craft here is in all respects impeccable.

I called their lyrics "moronic" in my first post. This is broadly true but not a wholly fair generalization, as this song exemplifies. So does "Fernando" - a perfectly solid folk song - and a few others. They had it in them to transcend bubblegum, and who knows? Had they been writing in their native language, they might have done so more reliably.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

User avatar
Otis Westinghouse
Posts: 8856
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:32 pm
Location: The theatre of dreams

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:16 pm

I like a bit of Gimme Gimme Gimme A Man After Midnight myself.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:07 pm

This is good fun to play around with:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/c ... an-tv.html
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

User avatar
Otis Westinghouse
Posts: 8856
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:32 pm
Location: The theatre of dreams

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:17 am

Great song, great video. 'I know it's gone, but where did it go?'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcKinnMXuKg
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:12 am

Yes it is, Otis. One of several songs on the new record that would be a cornerstone of a reconfigured album were I able to do that.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:50 pm

A frenetic Monday in the Cube and I am making excellent usage of Dexter Gordon's GO to slow the pace down. This has to be one of those records where all the stars aligned correctly. It is supremely done- arranged, performed and recorded. It is a classic, classic. For me near the epitome of hearing something fresh as if the performers were in the room and only playing at this moment. Gordon should be applauded for having the foresight to pick Sonny Clark, piano, Billy Higgins, drums, and Butch Warren, bass, as his supporting players. They never step out of their supporting role and yet they manage to not just meld into the background at the same time. Just listen to Higgins' exceptional brush work on his cymbals. It is a revelation. But the real joy is Gordon as he stretches out on each song- improvising with a muscular sound that knows when to go quiet as he moves through a melodic idea. I love this record. Listen to their revisiting of "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry". It is most revealing as to the quality of this recording as a whole.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 8011,d.cWc
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

ice nine
Posts: 1116
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: A van down by the river

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby ice nine » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:09 pm

Here is a free download of a mixtape of a hip popular New Orleans jazzband, The Soul Rebels
https://thesoulrebelsnola.bandcamp.com/ ... er-mixtape
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think that you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt
- M. Twain

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:43 pm

A tuesday in the Cube and time is moving smoothly with Dexter Gordon's "Doin' Allright"- a comeback success if there ever was one. From 1961 with the dexterous trumpet aid of Freddie Hubbard, this album delivers. The record is filled with Dexter's adventurous harmonic sense. He does not do harmonic runs just to pile up the notes- there is always a melodic underpinning to his playing never more apparant then the opening tune by the Gershwins- "I Was Doing All Right"- Dexter's playing here is 'all right' as you will hear:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 9294,d.cWc
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5707
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:04 pm

Refuge and some semblance of sanity in the Cube this Thursday afternoon with the company of Dexter Gordon's "Gettin' Around" a date from 1965. It features the elegant Barry Harris on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, Billy Higgins on drums and Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. Not a stellar date but just what I need for some equanimity today at work. The playing is smooth, professional and 'always spreading joy' as Dexter states in the album notes. I particularly like this cut- "Who Can I Turn To?"

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... y9MyuZypMA
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

Poor Deportee
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Chocolate Town

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Poor Deportee » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:19 pm

Oops- double post. Deleted this. Sorry for that - my profound insights can be found directly below 8)
Last edited by Poor Deportee on Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

Poor Deportee
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Chocolate Town

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby Poor Deportee » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:19 pm

Courtest of one Mr. Parades, I am presently digging Nick Lowe's Quality Street, a seasonal treat if ever there was. The star attraction is the hilarious "Christmas at the Airport," but "I Was Born in Bethlehem" is probably a more signifcant entry into the canon of Christmas music, with its gentle, plain-spoken recounting of the nativity - by a Jesus who appears almost as a gentle companion at your arm, or over a drink, telling you the story, himself quietly amazed at its wonders. I was surprised to find myself so moved given its audacious premise. A superb little track. "Christmas Can't Be Far Away," meanwhile, is ideally suited to Lowe's inimitable brand of wistful humour. That's another favourite.

My objections will be a controversial ones. I don't care for the double-whammy of "North Pole Express" and "Hooves on the Roof." I know the latter is a Sexmsith offering and therefore automatically high in "cred," but both strike me as at best unsettling and at worst rather creepy (the Santa of the former comes off as positively demonic, resembling no one so much as Futurama's Robot Santa; the latter makes me think of "Zat You Santa Claus," but minus Armstrong's glorious winking delivery and sheer impish ebullience). Whether "unsettling/creepy" were the intention or not, I don't know - perhaps so - but these aren't effects I cultivate in my seasonal playlist, preferring my irony warm and gentle at this time of year :wink:

I'm also not nuts about the Tex-Mex "Silent Night." Certainly, he was right to try something different with the old chestnut, but I find myself unconvinced.

On the whole, though, the album is of a piece with all of Nick's records from the Impossible Bird onward - suave, relaxed, and all told a delight. Thanks, Jack!
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

User avatar
mood swung
Posts: 6906
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:59 pm
Location: out looking for my tribe
Contact:

Re: What are you listening to right now?

Postby mood swung » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:41 am

what he said. My daughter begged me to stop playing this cd because Christmas At The Airport was getting painfully stuck in her head. I considered that a good thing and played on. Really really really love love love the Toy Trains one, maybe because I'm a grandma now; so much tenderness!

Also been listening to the radio a lot lately. Top 40.

Perhaps I've had some sort of brain injury. ;0
Like me, the "g" is silent.


Return to “The Annex”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 28 guests