thundercat - drunk

Thundercat: Drunk (2017)

Day 10 of the #mayvinylchallenge is your favorite 10″, and that guideline makes it pretty easy for me, since I have only one 10″ in my record collection. It’s a doozy, though: the third full length from the Space Ace of Bass, Thundercat. Although I had heard his distinctive style of playing on projects from Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, and even Suicidal Tendencies, Drunk was my first exposure to the man as a solo artist and composer, and it was on of those pivotal “aha!” discoveries on my musical journey.

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harry nilsson - nilsson schmilsson

Harry Nilsson: Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

Day 9 is a quick #mayvinylchallenege for my wife, since I spent the day with her and her family for Mother’s Day. She’s slowly gotten into the vinyl addiction with me, but she sticks to a few of her favorite records to listen to: Van Morrison, Paul Cauthen, the Beatles…and Harry Nilsson, whose Nilsson Schmilsson not only contains the ubiquitous “Coconut” which has been used in dozens upon dozens of movies and television shows, thus working out for today’s theme of “music discovered via movies or TV” but also happens to be one of those perfect classic pop/rock records, full of brain burrowing hooks, inventive melodies and musical flourishes that adventurous hooks and production flourishes that feel like the lost cousin to the Beatles without ever really imitating them. It’s a stone classic, and for much more than “Coconut.”

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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)”

beatles - anthology

The Beatles: Anthology (1995)

You couldn’t escape the anticipation for the The Beatles Anthology documentary: everyone was waiting to hear the first “new” music from The Beatles since 1970.  Taking rough demos from John Lennon the rest of the band got together to finish them.  And while you can debate the merits of “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” the chance to go behind the scenes with the band as they evolved into legends is an undeniable delight. Continue reading “The Beatles: Anthology (1995)”

beatles - past masters

The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)

In my brief (very brief) survey of the current stream-everything, digital rules pop landscape its fascinating to see how the single, non-album track has become prominent.  Fascinating because though a lot of fingers point to streaming and digital as primary reason, you can  go back over 40 years and see the same reliance on singles.  Collected as a two-disc set, Past Masters not only shows how adept The Beatles were at the form, but also boggles the mind with just how many “hits” in the pop consciousness weren’t actually collected on the studio albums. Continue reading “The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)”

beatles - let it be, let it be naked

The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)

Let It Be feels like the loose, shaggy dog of The Beatles catalog.  Recorded before but released after Abbey Road, the stories behind the album – the acrimony between the band, the various (and rejected) Glyn Johns, the final polish by “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector and eventual release after the Beatles officially broke up – all of this overshadows the original intent: that of four guys getting back to their roots, playing together the kind of rattling rock and roll they loved in the beginning.  Continue reading “The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)”