Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Great Beyond

Was a little surprised the Nano didn't turn up any R.E.M. today in the wake of Peter, Mike, and Michael hanging it up this week. (It seems like it's got a spidey-sense about those kinds of things.)

Had read some buzz about them and I have a strong memory of hearing "South Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" on an AM station while commuting home along I-694 one sunny afternoon and digging the jangle. I also loved Peter Buck's 12-string work on the Mats' great "I Will Dare", so I bought Reckoning, and in the not-yet-codified TWDQ Hierarchy of Recording Artists, they quickly became a "buy their new album on release day" band.*

* That said, didn't pick up Green until years later. Maybe they were playing it on the radio so much I didn't think I needed to. Never did get Up or Behind the Sun, possibly because I'd heard them first. ;-)

Loved Life's Rich Pageant, Document, Out of Time, Automatic, and yes, even Monster. "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" still makes me want to grab a guitar and play along. Loud. And move like Peter Buck. The kids loved "Shiny Happy People" and even though I've seen it a thousand times, still think the "Losing My Religion" video is pretty terrific.

Only ever saw 'em live once. They were on the Vote for Change tour with Bright Eyes, Fogerty, and Springsteen (with interloper Neil Young) in 2004 and they were terrific, with an energetic Stipe bouncing all over the Xcel Energy Center stage. Got back on the release day bit with Accelerate, which is a terrific record.

So thanks, Bill, Peter, Mike, and Michael. It was a great run.

This is still my favorite:

Sunday Random 30 (catching up...)

Okay, so "back tomorrow" ended up being a fortnight. Been crazy busy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Let's catch up.


Wilco - At Least That's What You Said
Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary Lou
Loggins & Messina - House at Pooh Corner
The Kinks - Days
Los Lobos - A Matter of Time
Radiohead - How Do You?
Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What
Steve Goodman - Somebody Else's Troubles
Professor Longhair - No Buts, No Maybes
Joe Henry - Hello Stranger

Interesting that the first track on the tenth anniversary of 9/11/2001 was from the one of the first notable post-9/11 albums. It seems like every September 11th since 2001 has been a beautiful, sunny day, just like that morning.

Wilco - Someday Soon
Fountains of Wayne - Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart
The Beatles - For No One
Fountains of Wayne - Please Don't Rock Me Tonight
Old 97's - Streets of Where I'm From
Ben Folds - Gracie
The Baseball Project - Ted F***ing Williams
The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations (live)
Peter Wolf (w/Shelby Lynne) - Tragedy
Dan Zanes - Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!

Leading off with Wilco again. I think the Nano's getting ready for The Whole Love on Tuesday. (We're listening to them streaming live on NPR this very moment, singing along to "Jesus, Etc.") A couple of FoW tunes, including one from their excellent new Sky Full of Holes and one from their debut. The verse about Gracie falling asleep on Folds' arm chokes me up every time.

Started the Sunday New York Times Crossword when we hit shuffle on the Nano. We let it go for these...

The Replacements - I Will Dare
The Beatles - It's Only Love
The Who - Squeeze Box

...and finished it in the middle of this one.

Derek and the Dominos - Roll It Over (live)

Beat that.

Professor Longhair - Go to the Mardi Gras
The Beatles - It's All Too Much
The Kinks - Apeman
Over the Rhine - All My Favorite People (demo)
Jonathan Rundman - Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
The Who - 5:15
Johnny Cash - So Doggone Lonesome
Wilco - Poor Places
Lucinda Williams - Sweet Love
Earth, Wind & Fire - Can't Hide Love

Bonus 11 - Gear Daddies - One Voice (I Wanna Drive the Zamboni)

Nice mix this morning. More Wilco, The Kinks' great "Lola" follow-up single, a terrific rocker from Quadrophenia, and my favorite EWF tune. I think the Nano knows they started playing exhibition hockey this week, too.

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question, already in progress.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who Knows Where the Time Goes? (Random 10 catch-up)

Did anyone get the license number of the car that ran over August? Wow.

We've been to Maine and back and are still in the final throes of remodeling the living room at TWDQ, so let's get caught up on a month's worth of random tens.

Old 97's - Marquita
Little Feat - All That You Dream
Janelle Monae - Locked Inside
Dan Zanes - Alba Mananera
The Coasters - Riot in Cell Block #9
The Kinks - See My Friends
Adele - Daydreamer
Paul Simon - Getting Ready for Christmas Day
Jonathan Rundman - The Prophetstown Tornado
Bob Dylan - Mama, You Been On My Mind

Bunch of stuff here from relatively recent acquisitions (97's, Feat, Adele, Simon).

Al Green - Full of Fire
The Coasters - Youngblood
Old 97's - Curtain Calls
The Avett Brothers - Tin Man
The Thorns - I Can't Remember
Vince Guaraldi - Samba de Orpheus
Marshall Crenshaw - Better Back Off
Girlyman - Invite Me In
The Avett Brothers - The Ballad of Love and Hate
Nick Lowe - Without Love

Nothing at all new here, but a very nice mix.

Over the Rhine - Only God Can Save Us Now
The Thorns - I Can't Remember
Jonathan Rundman - Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - I'll Still Be True
Lost Dogs - Pray Where You Are
Muddy Waters - Train Fare Home Blues
Legendary Shack Shakers - Everything I Ever Wanted To Do...
Uncle Tupelo - Whiskey Bottle
Suburbs - Drinking with an Angel
Sam Cooke - Only Sixteen

No recent tunes, but those lush Thorns harmonies pop up again this week. Nice run of liquor tunes leading into Sam Cooke's teenage lament.

R.E.M. - What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
Kaivama - Pirun Polska
She & Him - Ridin' in My Car
Lost Dogs - Red, White and Blue
Los Straitjackets - Magia Blanca
XTC - Mermaid Smiled
Boiling Point - Incomplete
Mavis Staples - Last Train
Golden Smog - Glad and Sorry
The Replacements - Dose of Thunder

We've always appreciated the noisy Monster album, She & Him's NRBQ cover jangles so nicely, and the Smog's cover of the Faces is really a wonderful tune.

Back tomorrow with a fresh ten. We'll see if the Nano knows what day it is and pushes out a somber mix. Maybe even a question or two.

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question, already in progress.