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johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
being able to listen to The Charlatans while driving
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
 new creative discoveries
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
finding a rare Ash album for my collection
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
I usually have one standout new musical discovery for every calendar year. For 2014 I declare Temples to be it. They released their first album in the spring and proved themselves to be pop craftspeople of consistent appeal. Hear them now!

[I would also have liked to tip the nod to Towns, a band I was quite excited by -- but, alas, they recorded their first album in the winter, announced its release in the spring... and then announced their own breakup before the day the album actually came out! It was deleted as soon as it was released -- if I hadn't preordered my copy I likely would not have one at all. I was really looking forward to more from those boys...]
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
Two noteworthy Britpop twentieth anniversaries for this November, and they both happened this past Friday! So here I go, a couple days late, saluting a couple of truly fine singles: End of a Century by Blur and The Wild Ones by Suede. Both Top Twenty, both deserved better.
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
The combination of crisp, clear, remastered albums -- and hearing aids...
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
The release of Caught By the Fuzz, the debut single by Supergrass, on this date twenty years ago. Despite the young band’s obvious punky roots, they quickly grew into a major force for eclectic pop songcraft and one of Britpop’s bright lights....
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
The release of four noteworthy Britpop records on this date twenty years ago: Suede’s epic, critically lauded second album Dog Man Star, and the singles “Close...But” by Echobelly, Elastica’s Connection, and “Cigarettes & Alcohol” by Oasis -- it was a great day to be a Britpop fan!
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
The culmination of a dream.

Ever since I started watching [and loving] the anime BECK in 2007, I have wished for a CD of the songs from that series. Soundtrack albums were released for the original Japanese cartoon, but not for the English dub, which are the songs I know and love. (The series was never big enough over to here to warrant that sort of treatment.) So I was S.O.L. in that regard.

Last night, I finally managed to cobble together and burn a homemade disc featuring the English songs -- and I tell ya, I love these songs so much that I tear up sometimes when listening to them. (Which I guess goes along with the fact that I sometimes tear up when watching the show.) Anyway, this is a very nice gift to myself.
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
Definitely Maybe, the debut album by Oasis, which was released on this date twenty years ago.

what's the big deal )

[Hear them revive the sound of the British Invasion 1965!]
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
Parklife by Blur, released on this date twenty years ago.

I am one of those who feel that this album represents the artistic pinnacle of Britpop -- exquisitely well-crafted musically (i.e., crammed full of great songs), and lyrically an accomplished love letter to and examination of contemporary British society. All the things that made Britpop Britpop, done as well as they ever had been or ever would be. It sold massively, entering the album chart at number one and spawning two Top Ten singles and another two Top Twenties. Parklife is what made Blur superstars in the UK and Britpop the undisputed Happening Thing for years to come.

[Hear This Is a Low -- not released as a single but one of my fave tracks on the album... and it has been held up as an example showing that Britpop was capable of Beatles levels of artistry. YMMV.]
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
I was thinkin recently... about how there are some bands that I love the first time I hear one song from them... and others that take time [sometimes years] to grow on me. And I wondered if there is any kind of relationship... similarity among the bands on one list, or distinction between the bands on both lists... any effect on how much I love them or how long I love them.... and TBH, as the list assembles: I don't see it. What puts a band on one list or the other appears completely random to me. Huh.

Rare Earth
Deep Purple
Alex Harvey
Max Webster
New York Dolls
The Saints
Black Flag
Hanoi Rocks
Dead or Alive
Sigue Sigue Sputnik
Age of Chance
King's X
Ruriko Kuboh
Shonen Knife
The White Stripes

Slow Growers
The Guess Who
Jimi Hendrix
The Move
T. Rex
Cheap Trick
Black Sabbath
Talking Heads
The Pursuit of Happiness
Ned's Atomic Dustbin
The Stone Roses
The Charlatans
Collective Soul
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
Blur B-sides...

... as in I have recently been inundated with them by purchasing several of their expanded editions, featuring remastered albums with bonus discs of B-sides and other stray material. For me these songs are all new... and, as seems to be common with Britpop bands [Suede, Oasis ... ], their B-sides are generally of a quality with their A-material -- which makes for happy listening!
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
The birthday of my fave album of 2013, Graceless, released one year ago today -- rock on, lads!

johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
In April 1994 a Britpop single which I quite enjoy was released:  Chinese Bakery by The Auteurs!
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
Two landmark Britpop singles released on this date twenty years ago:

Girls and Boys, Blur's first Top 5 single and the beginning of an upswing that was to mark Their Year;

and the double-A-side Mark b/w Casino Girl, the debut single from prodigious hitmakers Shed Seven.
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
Payday! And discovering a swell band....
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
The release twenty years ago today of Line Up, the first chart single by Elastica.

Elastica was the first Britpop band to be influenced primarily by 70s punk as opposed to 70s glam or 60s rock, thereby widening the range of retro available for Britpop to draw upon. They soon became phenomenally successful in the UK [as we'll see when their album comes out in about a year] and were considered one of Britpop's Major Players.

Line Up's B-side Vaseline is one of my fave Elastica tracks -- hear it now!
johncomic: (happy piggy)
My grandma (in this case meaning my mother's mother) -- she's been in my thoughts lately.

Lucy was a wiseacre and kinda cool for a grandma, plus she could bake like nobody's business -- so I always enjoyed when she came to visit or we went to visit her.

Two stories are in my mind today, both involving music:

1) I remember a time when Ain't No Sunshine was on the radio, and they got to the part where Bill Withers starts repeating I know I know and you wonder when he's ever gonna stop... but before he stopped, Grandma looked over at me sidelong and said, “I think he knows.”

2) when Drivin' Wheel was released as a single, I bought it immediately -- and Grandma happened to be there and heard me play it. As soon as it was done, she said, “I like that, play it again!”

She was not yer average grandma...
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
Times when I'm alone in the car with the windows rolled up and I can sing. I mean, like really belt it out if I wanna and it isn't bothering anyone. I've learned to really enjoy singing -- imperfectly notwithstanding -- in the last few years....

[This morning's feature: “Anything Could Happen” ]

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