Sunday, November 30, 2014

Album Listening Club - Blue Eyed Black Boy discussion

Once again, this is why I love the Album Listening Club. I had never heard of Balkan Beat Box before one of our club members suggested them and this record.

Nothing. Not sure where I would have heard of them, but from listening to their album, it's something I probably would have read about in Spin - If Spin were still a magazine, and I still read it, and it was still relevant. (Sorry, Spinners. You've devolved into the kind of bullshit clickbait articles and celebrity worship that I refuse to click on.)

The band itself is from Israel and consists of three core musicians, Ori Kaplan, Tamir Muskat, and Tomer Yosef. This album was recorded in Romania and from my listens has lots of musical influences from that area of the world, the Middle East and Balkan states. (Big surprise from the band name, right?)

So, now that we've heard of them - let's do what we do & chat it up!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Album Listening Club - Stained Class discussion

I'm no connoisseur of heavy metal music. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I've never heard even one of the songs on Stained Class, which is one of the most highly regarded Judas Priest albums.

Sure, I know "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" and "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight," and I recognize the cover for their album British Steel - iconic. But I don't have the long listening history to differentiate the Priest in any meaningful way from, say, Iron Maiden. I mean, of course there's nobody who sings like Rob Halford, but I don't know what the central themes of their music are.

Stained Class is Judas Priest's fourth album, released in early 1978. So, while one subculture was being fed from Talking Heads 77, another was reaching out for Stained Class. Wikipedia says that before this record, the Priest played more prog-rock and this and subsequent albums were more heavy metal rock and roll.

So, let's club Stained Class, shall we?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Album Listening Club - Low discussion post

I just realized that I don't actually own any David Bowie records.

David Bowie - Low
Like, none. Never bought Let's Dance, and really, that's the only one by him that I would have bought for a long time. I knew and liked "Space Oddity" and "Changes" from the 70's, but I wasn't seeking out albums, those were just songs I heard on the radio. When Let's Dance came along, this David Bowie wrote pop songs that weren't as abstract as the previously mentioned songs. Verse/chorus/verse/bridge etc. He was dressed in a nice suit, no face paint. It was a David Bowie that a teenager in a small mountain town could get behind. (Me - I was that teenager.)

I never did buy that album, though, because my friend had it, so I could hear it whenever I wanted. (And now that I listen to it, I prefer the version of "Cat People" on Let's Dance to the soundtrack version. But I'm digressing, HARD.)

So, Low. Bowie's eleventh album, released in 1977, produced by Tony Visconti and featuring Brian Eno on side two, with a full writing credit on "Warszawa." Mixed critical acclaim upon release, the album seems to be widely lauded now. Low was the first album in what's now called the "Berlin trilogy", along with Heroes and Lodger.

The songs on side one all had vocals, whereas all of the songs on side two were instrumentals. It was nice to be able to divide a musical artistic work in such a way with LPs and cassettes.

Best bit of trivia I read about the album - Nick Lowe released an EP in 1977 that he titled "Bowi," in "retaliation." Now THAT'S funny!

Let's club this album!