Posts Tagged ‘streaming audio’

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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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 #23

Although Manassas only released two albums in their brief history as a band – the double album, Manassas, released on April 12th, 1972, and Down The Road on April 23rd, 1973 – the impact of these two albums is really quite undeniable. There are many who consider Manassas’ debut album somewhat of a masterpiece, and even though I wouldn’t go quite that far with that assumption, myself, Manassas were a very unique ensemble to say the least. As Stephen Stills comments in the above interview, he and his assembled musicians were able to accomplish a lot musically under the banner of Manassas.
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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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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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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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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #19

Riding the post punk wave out of the 1970s and into the 1980s along with such bands as The Talking Heads, The Residents, Devo, and Cardiacs, was a favourite band of mine – a thinking man’s band some would say – Wall of Voodoo. Particularly if you happened to pick up their second full-length album, 1982′s Call of the West – which All Music Guide described as “full of tales of ordinary folks with little in the way of hopes or dreams, getting by on illusions that seem more like a willful denial of the truth the closer you get to them.” To me, at least, a perfect description of the decade of the 80s which would later be aptly described in Jay McInerney’s novel Bright Lights, Big City and Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 American Psycho.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #17

Of all the live concerts in my music collection, today’s particular show had proved to be one of the most difficult to find because of it’s uniqueness and it’s rarity among live show collectors. It had been on my most wanted search list for a very, very long time. Of course, I’m talking about the group known as Mallard, formed in 1974 by Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo), Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) and Art Tripp III (Ed Marimba) after leaving Captain Beefheart‘s Magic Band. It was during Mallard’s European tour in 1976 that they performed the German TV Show ‘Rockpalast’ on September 7th, 1976.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #15

I still recall with great fondness the day I discovered Traffic’s 1967 debut album, Mr. Fantasy and their psychedelic tour de force, “Heaven Is In Your Mind”. Unlike many psychedelic groups of the era, Traffic had the special ability to combine elements from various musical genres – progressive rock, jazz fusion, psychedelic rock, and blues – into a unique sound which would reach it’s creative zenith on their 1970 release, John Barleycorn Must Die.
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