Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Playlist for 7/18

Phoenix - Ti Amo
Shannon McNally - Black Irish
McKinley Mitchell - Complete Malaco Collection
Running The Voodoo Down - Various
Vince Staples - Summertime '06
Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
Bob Seger - Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Fleetwood Mac - Vaudeville Years (1968-70)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Music Years of My Life: 1979

Rolling Stone magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and they deserve all the accolades coming to them.  I say this as a 38 year subscriber who hasn't always loved every subject, review or layout of the magazine.  My subscription to Rolling Stone began in the Summer of 1979, after picking up an issue with Richard Pryor on the cover.  Of course I was aware of the magazine.  Skimmed through it at libraries and book stores.  Probably bought an issue of two.  But these are my teenage years and the only spending money I made was helping my Mom out at a hotel where she worked.

The Billboard subscription I got in 1978 was a Christmas gift, and I was able to maintain that for a few years before my own money paid for it.  The impact Rolling Stone had on my record buying can't be denied.  A good review usually pushed me over.  But I was still buying albums from popular icons of the 70's that critics hated (Barry Manilow) or panned (Barbra Streisand).  Also most albums that were just popular I'd buy.  A lot of this way of purchasing came from growing up with AM Top 40 radio as my main source of listening.  In fact, until Rolling Stone came along, my main source of music criticism came from Billboard album and single reviews.  And those weren't very negative.

Now along comes Rolling Stone and they are reviewing albums from artists that I've never heard of.  Because these acts barely charted on the Billboard album or singles charts, let alone got reviewed (and if they did it went over my teenage head).  Until I got the first Rolling Stone Album Guide and Robert Christgau's Rock Albums of the 70's in the early 80's,  the magazine's review section was a revelation.

And it had writers.  Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, Paul Nelson, Timothy White, Stephen Holden, Ben Fong-Torres, Cameron Crowe, Mikal Gilmore, etc.  But not many women in that first decade.

Now in its 50th year, grabbing the cover is still a big deal, and it still makes headlines with its non-music writing.  Rolling Stone has always covered more than music.  Politics, Movies, TV Shows.  Maybe it doesn't have the relevance it once did, but it's still one of the longest-running music magazines in the U.S.  Nearly 40 years later it's still a kick to see it in my mailbox.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Playlist for 7/11

Jace Everett - Dust & Dirt
Luke Combs - This One's For You
Chuck Berry - Chuck
American Epic: Sessions - Various
Low Cut Connie - Dirty Pictures Part 1
Secret Sisters - You Don't Own Me Anymore
Lady Antebellum - Heart Break
Lorde - Melodrama
Bleachers - Gone Now

Monday, July 10, 2017

Best of Blondie (Poll)

Been a couple of months since I voted in a poll.  Here's an interesting one on Blondie.  New Wave icons whose greatest moments came within a half a decade's worth of music from 76-80.  Also, a first time nominated Rock Hall inductee in 2006 (first eligible 2002).

1.  Heart of Glass
2.  Call Me
3.  One Way Or Another
4.  Dreaming
5.  Atomic
6.  Rapture
7.  Tide Is High
8.  Hanging On The Telephone
9.  Union City Blue
10.  Maria
11.  Denis
12.  Rip Her To Shreds
13.  Picture This
14.  (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear
15.  Fade Away And Radiate
16.  Just Go Away
17.  Look Good In Blue
18.  In The Flesh
19.  Contact In Red Square
20.  X Offender


Top 5 Albums:
1.  Parallel Lines
2.  Eat To The Beat
3.  Blondie
4.  Plastic Letters
5.  Autoamerican

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Playlist for 7/6

North Mississippi All Stars - Prayer for Peace
Mojo Presents Murder Ballads - Various
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly -s/t
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly - Inspiration
SZA - Ctrl
John Gary Wiliams -s/t (reissue)
Cait Brennan - Third
Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Music Years of My Life: 1996/1997

Before the World Wide Web discussing all things Rock Hall was only peer-to-peer.  My own interests in the Hall didn't blossom until I hit the Web.  Before that I was aware of who was getting inducted/nominated, but had no place, and in most cases, nobody, to talk about the Hall.  Long time Hall watchers got their yearly info through music magazines, usually through Goldmine,  Billboard, Rolling Stone or the now defunct Discoveries.  Goldmine was the most valuable of all.  Thanks in part to then editor and NomCom member Jeff Tamarkin (he's long been gone from both).  If you were lucky then your local Classic Rock station (or a syndicated program) mentioned who were that years inductees/nominees.

 This is what happened to me in 1996.  But first let me go back.  The early years of the Rock Hall were a curiosity to me.  I've been an ardent follower of many Sports Halls.  But I didn't become a Rock Hall devotee until the mid-90's.  After that the Internet put me over.  If you're new to all things Rock Hall you might not know that their web page once hosted a forum where passionate fans could talk about the Hall or anything else.  Many of us who were there at the beginning of that forum are still around today.  Looking back I have to admit a lot of my opinions on who should be in or out of the Hall weren't very good.  I'm much more knowledgable about Rock's history today than I was in he mid-90's.  Today I cringe when I think of artists who back then I felt didn't belong in the Hall.

But back to 1996.  This was the first nominee class I remember getting passionate over.  There were 17 nominees that year.  Seven were inducted:  Bee Gees, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Five, Joni Mitchell, Parliament-Funkadelic, Rascals.  Also inducted were Syd Nathan and two early influences, Mahalia Jackson and Bill Monroe.  A solid class.
Not making the cut:  Black Sabbath,  Dominoes, Gene Pitney, Lloyd Price, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mamas and the Papas, Meters, Moonglows, Solomon Burke, Stooges.   Of these 17 names the only ones that haven't been inducted are the Meters and Dominoes.  

Of all the names listed the one I was rooting for the most were the Bee Gees.  But this was the first time I remember their being a discussion outside of the music press about the Rock Hall, what the definition of "Rock and Roll" is and about a nominee, in this case, Joni Mitchell.  A September 1996 Opinion piece ran in the New York Times Opinion.  Written by Martha Bayles, this hits on subjects still talked about in 2017:  a certain nominee, what is the definition of "Rock and Roll" and the museum itself.  Side note: notice the date it ran is September 28.  Inductees were announced back then a lot earlier.  Also, the 1997 ceremony was the first held in Cleveland, so there was more attention for that year than many before.

So, people began to take note of the Hall.  I remember talking with fellow music friends about names that didn't get in like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Sabbath.  And wondering why there was a controversy over Joni Mitchell because many didn't think she was "Rock" enough.  Twenty years later not much has changed.

The Class of 1997 was an awakening for me.  When the inductees were named and I saw that the Bee Gees and Jackson Five were in, it felt like a victory for me as well.  Every year we all have our favorites.  From that year on, I began to find artists on the ballot that I would lobby for.  I'm still doing that today.

Twenty years on, the same arguments about the Hall are being debated in more places than they were in the 90's.  The Internet has been a blessing for music nuts like me.  I'm still as fervent about seeing names on the stage at Induction night (if my beloved Spinners ever make, I might just attend their induction ceremony) as ever before.  But the class of 1997 will always be a special one.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Playlist for 6/27

Benjamin Booker - Witness
Cody Chesnutt - My Love Divine Degree
Dan Auerbach - Waiting On A Song
Paul Weller - A Kind Revolution
Ralph Stanley - Clinch Mountain Gospel
Tony Rice - Cold On The Shoulder
Colter Wall - s/t
Rough Guide To Jug Band Blues - Various
American Epic - Soundtrack
Mahalia Jackson - Moving On Up A Little Higher
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