Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #25

Just about anyone from my generation who became a teenager in the 1970s is going to be extremely familiar with today’s Sunday Big Note artist. Indeed, the debut solo effort by this group – Tales of Mystery and Imagination, released in 1976 – is considered to be a classic album. Of course, I’m speaking of The Alan Parsons Project.
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Today’s Ear Worm: The Game

Das Pop are a Belgian band who first became known through their victory in the 1998 edition of Humo’s Rock Rally. I never really thought much of them though I did buy their debut album “I Love” when it first came out, which left me underwhelmed.

Fast forward to the here and now, and Das Pop have a new album out called “The Game”. I haven’t heard the full album yet, but the title track I must say is an absolute gem. The retro-style introductory vamp, the vocals, the guitars, the production: this is as close as a pop song gets to being perfect.

Don’t take my word for it though — check out the official video (which itself isn’t too shabby either!):

Update: For those who cannot view the above video, Urbangraffito has provided this Grooveshark link.

Have an ear worm to share yourself? Do tell.

AltRock Extravaganza – 2011

From the very first instant I received a CD release from the independent AltRock label from Milan, Italy, I have been increasingly impressed by the exceptional quality of their releases (see Yugen & Rock In Opposition posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2010). Indeed, the AltRock label appears to be increasingly the “go to label” for prog music lovers. The following four new releases which arrived in my mailbox only add to this label’s increasing appeal. Now, “Let’s hear it for a great Italian label…”
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Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #24

From the very first time I heard Eddie Jobson perform as a member of Frank Zappa‘s band in 1976-77, I was immediately drawn to the style and playing of this virtuoso violinist/keyboard player. Whether it was Zappa compositions, or those of Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, or even his own solo work or through the supergroup U.K. – Jobson’s style was and is uniquely his very own.
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Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #22

Usually, when most think of the Irish hard rock band, Thin Lizzy, formed in Dublin in 1969, songs like “Whiskey in the Jar”, “Jailbreak” and especially “The Boys Are Back in Town” come to mind. Not surprising since these songs are still staples of hard rock and classic rock stations. Yet, as a hard rock band, peculiarly enough, it wasn’t until their fifth album, Fighting, in 1975, and the advent of their twin guitar sound that they really began to achieve lasting success as a group, followed by their breakthrough album, Jailbreak, in 1976.
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Frank Zappa: A Study In Gesture

Paul Carr just posted slides from his talk on Frank Zappa & Gesture.

Here is a powerpoint presentation which looks at an approach to using an artist as a musicological case study. After explaining some potential generic approaches, it looks at Frank Zappa as a case study.

Cheaper the Better – Lyrically Zappa

While many focus on Frank Zappa, the composer, so very often Zappa, the songwriter, is overlooked. Perhaps due to the nature of Zappa’s lyrics, themselves, which often take direct aim at human sexuality, and sexual mores in 20th Century American culture – satirizing its norms, its values, its purported virtues of family, of home, of church. From the release of Freak Out onward, Zappa took direct aim with his songs, and his lyrics, at the foibles he saw and witnessed about him. No one and no thing was beyond the scope of his sardonic eyebrow.
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Grab Bag

Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #21

Back on Friday, March 28th, 2008 I published the post, Live Albums — Dead or Alive? in which I listed many of my favourite live albums: Zappa In New York (1978); Super Session (1968) with Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills; and Warren Zevon’s Stand In The Fire (1980/2007) just to name a few. Among them, though, was also an absolute favourite live album of mine which has long stood the test of time. That artist and album being John Mayall’s 1969 live release The Turning Point.
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Double Zappa

I’ve found that FZ albums tend to come in twos.

…says Brendan in his series of album-couples on his page The Rising Storm, called Double Zappa. With nice reviews and some samples – coincidentally I was just reading about the double knits when found this one – Eddie Are You Kidding?…