The title of this Year End Roundup is more of a plea than a statement. My son’s and my wife’s 2008 music keeps intruding on mine. In 2007, it was Queen, Aerosmith and the Killers. This year, it’s Avenged Sevenfold and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
So let them write their own entry. Here’s my year in music:
None yet. It’s a shame that no music has indelibly stamped my year. But there was enough joy in real life to keep me going, so I’ll not complain. Besides, it’s when the going gets tough that the un-tough (me) go for their music. That’s when I’ll need it.
Nuggets: This four CD set Father’s Day present is the American version of the 1960’s British Invasion (okay, maybe a little later). Well, talk about your fun! There are not many “great songs” here, but there are a ton of “great records”. I still couldn’t tell you the names of 75% of them because not all of them have names like “Louie, Louie” and “Woolly Bully”, but most of them are in the same vein. Not for the pretentious.
Well, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, thanks to my son. He played their Greatest Hits for us and I was surprised how pretty it was. My original impression of them had been all energy and rhythm, but no melody or songs. I recommend this record or By the Way as a way of bonding with your annoying (not you, Mike) teenager.
The New Pornographers “Mass Romantic”: Neko Case’s striking “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood” led me to her other band, where she shows off her voice in a more chaotic pop setting. It can get to be too much, like a friend who’s had too much coffee, but when you’re in the mood – or had a few yourself - it’s quite a ride.
The Flaming Lips “The Soft Bulletin”: This one’s got a lot of good tunes, but I still prefer the more spare, gentle Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. But quite enjoyable.
Modest Mouse’s “Good News for People Who Like Bad News”: Or as I like to think of it, Bad News for People Who Like Easy Listening. With titles like “The Good Times are Killing Me” you’ve got to love this guy’s attitude. He sings how he feels and he doesn’t feel too great. But the guitars ease the pain, and his gentle side takes a bit of the edge off. They remind me of early Talking Heads, only from the
Django Rheinhardt’s “Djangology” – This little $6.99 miracle effortlessly brings to you back to a time you never actually went through, except maybe by way of the soundtrack to the Little Rascals. But then that band didn’t have anyone playing an awesome guitar, violin or piano.
Discos Matador – Intended Play 2007, which was a free sampler from Matador records. My wife found this in my bag when I got home from the record store. I didn’t see the lady at the counter put it in. I was too worried about her reaction to what I bought. (As usual, she was totally unimpressed. Those sixty year old Russian women are awesome cool.) The ten or so bands, the high point among them Lavendar Diamond, range from good to excellent, and I’ll be looking forward to their other work.
LCD Soundsystem’s “The Sound of Silver”: This 2007 “punk disco” Pazz and Jop winner is not a bad album, but I just don’t go to dance clubs, where I suspect it sounds fabulous.
My Morning Jacket’s “Z”: Strange as it may sound at this point, I don’t like this guy’s voice. It undermines some of his tunes, which aren’t bad, but rarely striking.
Burial’s “Untrue”: Well, I’ve listened to this 2007 electronica Metacritic winner about 20 times and still don’t think I hear it yet. It’s not bad – I’m just a little dense sometimes.
Steinski’s “What Does it All Mean?”: This is like a hip hop version of Nuggets. Steinski samples music and all sorts of other sounds and puts it all together for your dancing pleasure. Fortunately for me, I can sit and enjoy it anyway.
Led Zeppelin-Long Story
Jimi Hendrix’s “Band of Gypsys”. We get to hear Jimi live, and find out that, hey, he really can play guitar, in case you forgot.
Christmas Gifts. Or Give Me Just a Little More Time!:
I like to experiment during the dark winter months. It’s a bad idea, but it’s me. This year’s no different.
Charlie Parker’s The Legendary Dial Masters: Quintessential jazz.
Music in My Head: Afropop
Le Tigre: Smart Ass Feminist Punk rock.
Wussy’s “Funeral Dress”: Right out of the box, the male/female vocals and electric guitar win me over. I think this one’s going to be a keeper.
So there you have it. You can now rest easy knowing how my 2008 was musically. Oh yeah, how about yours?