Friday, February 17, 2012

Lust Music Play List

Earlier this week, in honor of Valentine's Day, I published a "love" playlist on Now that it's the weekend, I figured I'd publish a "lust" music play list. Fairly innocuous, though, just songs with the word "lust" in the title. Go listen. You'll see.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ThURGHsday! #6 - Chelsea

I did not know that Chelsea was a band at the root of the punk movement (well, according to Wikipedia, they were). Their song "I'm On Fire" is fast, but it's tuneful. They come across as energetic, but not what I might have once thought of as punk.

Singer Gene October sounds more like Paul Weller than Johnny Rotten, and the music isn't as sloppy as the Pistols from that era, but it's definitely repetitive, relying more on brute force than flash to deliver their message.

The video is great, watching the kids pogoing in the nascent mosh pit. Who knows if the crowd shots are from the Chelsea portion of the show, but it's still a fun crowd.

Where URGH! They Now?

Well, I'm not really sure. I tried contacting their management on their website, but now I cant' even find that link. The site hasn't been updated since 2010, however, they do have Facebook and MySpace page. Former member Jeff Piccinini (Geoff Myles) is in a band called The Revenant, which seems to be based out of San Francisco.

Last ThURGHsday! - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, "Enola Gay"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Playlist

I made a love playlist over on today. Just some songs that have meant love to me at different parts in my life. And one kind of silly song, but that's Art Brut for you. :)

I hope you love my love playlist.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ThURGHsday! #5 - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark ended up becoming one of my favorite bands of all time. The song they played on URGH was "Enola Gay", a song about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan at the end of World War II. It wasn't anything that 12-year-old me was too concerned with, but it became an historical reference point for me later, as I learned more about the war. It was probably one of my first experiences with political commentary in song, at least one of the first that registered with me. But, again, it didn't register with me until later.

What did register with me was that stack of keyboards that Paul Humphreys plays. I don't know why I ended up being such an electronic music fan, but keyboards have always been a big draw for me. It was because of bands like OMD and New Order and Depeche Mode that I started taking piano lessons in high school. I wanted to learn the songs that I liked so much. I probably needed a sequencer just as much as a keyboard in order to play all of those songs, but I didn't know that at the time. I think my subscription to Keyboard magazine taught me the details. (Just going to the site and clicking on some keyboard reviews brought a smile to my face.)

One of my favorite parts of the video now is Andy McCluskey's rockin' 80's dance, that little hips-wiggle to the beat. My friend Geoff did a fun 80's dance that inspired me to steal Andy's moves. I bust out the McCluskey at parties from time to time. It's a big hit.

Where URGH! They Now?

Much to my surprise and joy, Orchestral Manoeuvres re-formed back in 2006 to play their album Architecture & Morality (link is to the live performance from 2007 on iTunes). Who ever knows why groups break up, and why they get back together. I somehow had it in my mind that OMD would *never* get back together, ever. I just didn't expect it.

The shows they played went well enough that they played more over the next few years, and in time they started working on new material, which resulted in History of Modern, released on 100% Records in September of 2010. I absolutely loved the video for the first single "If You Want It".

In 2011 they released Live In Berlin Live In Berlin - Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark, and I listened to it on Spotify one night while cooking. For some reason, the new songs grabbed me more directly that night, and set alongside their older songs, I felt like I appreciated the new songs more. It was as if they were always there.

OMD recently completed two US tours in 2011 and, according to their website, have started recording for a new album, entitled English Electric. I think they're in a good place now, and I'm glad they're making music again. I've seen OMD live three times:
  • Crush tour - Nov. 1985 in a big snowstorm - supporting Thompson Twins in Boulder, CO. I know I still have a program from that show, I just don't know where.
  • The Pacific Age tour - Dec. 1986 at the Paramount in Denver.
  • Best Of OMD tour - May 1988 at the old McNichols arena in Denver supporting Depeche Mode - that was a dream concert for me at the time. I was really jealous of everyone (like my friend Dale!) who was at the Rose Bowl show on June 18, 1988. That show featured Wire, Thomas Dolby, OMD & Depeche Mode. I listened to live updates about the show on 91X in San Diego, where I was attending freshman orientation for SDSU. So bummed I couldn't be at that show with 99,999 of my closest musical friends.

I hope OMD comes through Denver again. I'd love to see the new show.

UPDATE 12/26/2016: I got to interview Paul & Andy at their Red Rocks show! Check out our talk - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Rockies


Last ThURGHsday - John Cooper Clarke, "Health Fanatic"
Next ThURGHsday! - Chelsea, "I'm On Fire"

Monday, February 6, 2012

1985 - Best year for music, ever?

The other day, I found myself wanting to hear some Psychedelic Furs, so I put on Mirror Moves (1984) and I tweeted about it. That led somehow to me listening to The Smiths' Meat Is Murder (1985), which in turn led me to listen to OMD's Crush (1985). Naturally, Listen Like Thieves (1985) by INXS and The Cure's The Head On the Door (1985) followed. And New Order's Low-Life (1985). And then I got curious. What other records were released in 1985? So I consulted Wikipedia and here's the list of really great albums I singled out:

Cupid & Psyche 85
Big Lizard In My Back Yard
The Dream of the Blue Turtles
Feargal Sharkey
Hunting High and Low
Voices Carry
This Is Big Audio Dynamite
Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
Fishbone - EP
Dream Into Action
Hounds of Love
Dead Man's Party
Around the World In a Day
Brothers In Arms
Clan of Xymox
Easy Pieces
Flip Your Wig
I Don't Want to Grow Up
King of Rock
Little Creatures
Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper
No Jacket Required
Oil & Gold
Play Deep
A Secret Wish
Songs from the Big Chair
Telephone Free Landslide Victory
White City

Amazing records. I believe the first quarter of those are debut albums, no less! (Someone on another forum commented on how they would have liked to have seen the band names along with the album titles. I listed them this way because this is how I saw it in Wikipedia, just the album titles, and I was surprised at how many records I knew - and loved! - just from the titles.)

As a way to somehow impossibly quantify this hypothesis, let's take a look at year that an album was released that changed the path of popular music: 1991, the year Nirvana's Nevermind came out.

We also got: Apocalypse 91...the Enemy Strikes Black, Achtung Baby, Badmotorfinger, Blood, Chorus, De La Soul is Dead, Don't Try This At Home, Electric Bird Digest, Electric Landlady, Flyin' the Flannel, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, Girlfriend, The Globe, Our Frank, The Low End Theory, Mama Said, Metallica, Mr. Bad Example, Native Son, Naughty By Nature, Niggaz4Life, Never Loved Elvis, No Pocky For Kitty, Positively Phranc, The Reality of My Surroundings, Ropin' the Wind, Rumor and Sigh, Sailing the Seas of Cheese, Screamadelica, The Soul Cages, Trompe le Monde, Use Your Illusion I & II, Why Do Birds Sing?

Pretty good. Don't know if I'd call it great, though.

And now, let's look at another watershed year in music. Initially, I was going to go with 1967, the year The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released, but 1966 was the year that Revolver was released, as was the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. More records included Aftermath, Face to Face, Fifth Dimension, It's a Man's Man's Man's World, Otis Blue, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Lots of jazz released in 66, though. I don't know enough jazz to be able to recognize album titles and suggest that '67 was a good year for jazz. I presume it might be.

I should have gone with '67: Sgt. Pepper, Alice's Restaurant, Gentle on My Mind, Disraeli Gears, Magical Mystery Tour, King and Queen, John Wesley Harding, Their Satanic Majesties Request, Sounds of Silence, Strange Days, Surrealistic Pillow, The Who Sell Out, United, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

So...for me, I think 1985 was possibly the best year for music, ever. (Let's hear it for subjective opinions!) Let me know if you have a different year you'd nominate. Or better still, let me know that you agree with me.

(Purchase the albums using the iTunes links to help support Your Older Brother's Music Blog!)