iggy and the stooges - raw power

Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power (1973)

Let’s be fair: there’s probably very little I can contribute to the enormity of writing on the righteous rock god status of that street-walking’ cheetah Iggy Pop and the incendiary power of The Stooges. The man and the band are untouchable in the annals of rock, stone cold classic purveyors of the form and I’m not going to dispute that. So instead I want to talk about how Raw Power, that nuclear A-bomb of ripping rock helped me to understand thats much of an album’s power comes from how you listen, as much as what is on it. So let’s get into the Bowie vs. Iggy mix…

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kool and the gang debut

Kool and the Gang: Kool and the Gang (1970)

If we’re re-booting this blog for 2021, I thought I’d start with some of my most recent vinyl acquisitions. I can’t pinpoint when I precisely fell in love with soul and funk music; I’d been exposed to it on the radio in the 70s, but rock and metal took over, and it wasn’t until high school and late nights driving around town with Parliament’s Up For the Down Stroke blasting out the windows (that’s how my friends rolled in upstate New York circa 1990) and obsessing over the wriggle of Isaac Hayes’s Shaft score that I started to identify something that spoke to my DNA. Fast-forward about 30 years and when I got the note that Real Gone Music was reissuing Kool and the Gang’s debut self titled album on yellow vinyl I was all in.

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How I Consumed Media in The Year of Our Lord (COVID) 2020

Man, it’s been a year, huh?  I know I haven’t posted since the end of 2019, but I’ve been writing and keeping busy.  I still throw in the occasional review or massive three-part, 10,000 word end-of-year wrap-up for metal, and I’ve also been writing and recording a monthly podcast for my friend Jon’s film blog Cinema Dual.  But if I’m being honest, it’s been getting harder and harder to focus when life, the universe, and everything turns into a dumpster fire of global pandemics, racial injustice, and a government that seems hellbent on tearing down the entire country for its own selfish gains.  

Makes it hard to write about the latest Ben Folds Five album, you know?

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yellow eyes - rare field ceiling

Yellow Eyes: Rare Field Ceiling (2019)

I listened to a lot of albums this weekend, mostly classic rock (Grateful Dead’s Live Dead) and modern rock trying to sound classic (Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell’s Very Uncertain Times) but it was the cold and somewhat impenetrable Yellow Eyes that got me to stop and think “I should write about this.”  Because Rare Field Ceiling, like all of the band’s other records, has the peculiar trick of frustrating me even as it draws in me into its maelstrom. Continue reading “Yellow Eyes: Rare Field Ceiling (2019)”

New Year, Lists, What’s Ahead: A Miscellany

Been a while since I’ve taken to this site.  In addition to life getting in the way, I grew somewhat disillusioned with the cadence of everything in alphabetical order.  Trying to fit in all the things I wanted to listen to but also making time to repeated listens of every Ben Folds release in sequence got tiring (sorry, Ben).  So I took a step back, focused on the things I wanted to listen to, and just basically enjoyed music. Continue reading “New Year, Lists, What’s Ahead: A Miscellany”

ben folds - way to normal

Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)

I wish this was a case of “second verse, same as the first” but the sad reality is I think there was a moment in time where the music of Ben Folds really impacted me, and that time is past.  The music I experienced at the time still holds up and connects me to those moments in time, but Way to Normal feels like it trades too much on the nostalgia of past albums, and beyond a few key moments doesn’t hook with either its music or its lyrics. Continue reading “Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)”