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September 29, 2014 / thackersam

September 28 – Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill

alanis mWe had reached that age when you hang on to the music you know and are getting to the point where you don’t understand the music of kids today. I remember that time in the car when one of the songs from this album came on, and the ex and I confessed that we liked not just the song, but the music this young woman, who, if we had started early could be our daughter. It was less of a confession and more a gleeful appreciation of enjoyment. Or somewhere in between.

Jagged Little Pill was another $5 find. I’ve never heard it in its entirety, and uncensored till now and I like it. I like the backstory, what I know about it. Alanis Morissette was a teen Canadian pop star, who came out with this amazing rock album, and a really good video. Even though I did like her, I always thought that the part of God at the end of the movie Dogma, which would probably be on my list of top 100 movies, should have been played by someone like Grace Slick. But after listening to this, which could well be considered her debut album, I kind of appreciate the casting of Alanis Morissette more now. There is kind of a wise beyond her years quality to her songs. Of course, who didn’t love the choice of Bud Cort as God’s pinball bum persona in the movie?

In any case, I like the imagry of Alanis Morissette’s music, and working out to it. I don’t know what she’s been up to in the last dozen years or so. I know she put out an album a couple of years ago, but I don’t think I heard any of it. However, I predict that we’re going to get something mighty impressive from her sometime soon. She just seems like that kind of artist that will pop up and wow you now and again.

Getting home from the market is a little roundabout in my area of the City, and today it was a bit more tricky due to the post-Tunnel to Towers run celebration. It’s cool, I can see the people running by from my window. I went out this afterward and came back as the festivies that I had to pass through were winding down. I heard Southside Johnny’s voice, but because it sounded exactly as I remember Southside Johnny sounding, oh so many years ago, it took me a bit to realize it was live music, and not until I neared the stage to be sure that it was indeed Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The crowd had already dissipated, all but the few people dancing to “We’re Having a Party,” so I got to get up close for the minute and a half left of the song before they bid us farewell. I’ve never seen Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes live before, and even though it was for a mere few moments, it was great!

September 25, 2014 / thackersam

September 24 – Ssssh.

Ten Years - ShhhAs I am a woman of my word, I did exercise tonight to Ten Years After’s Ssssh. It is on the Ram 20 list after all, but I confess it is being used this evening as a shill. It’s code for ssssh, don’t tell anyone we’re talking about the Kinks again.

My post of ten days ago, a not so stellar assessment of one of the many Kinks’ compilation albums out there, that was accompanied by a brief account of seeing Ray Davies in concert during his Storytellers tour, prompted some person with a website dedicated to the Kinks, to which he posts daily, to find my innocent little blog post and provide the link on his daily list of stuff he finds on the web that has to do with the Kinks. I’ve had over 300 hits because of it. I know – Mazel Tov! – you’re saying. And I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I’m not particularly enjoying this. I feel invaded. Which, by the way, I did like the Kinks during the British invasion, they just don’t bowl me over. So then I get a comment from a guy, who wants to inform me that these are my limitations, and not the Kinks’. Who asked him?!? So, I was going to write something about this guy who probably has Kinks posters all over the walls of his parents’ basement, where he still lives, but then maybe because I didn’t post his comment or reply to it, he sends another that asks if I’ve read what Bowie and Pete Townsend have said about the Kinks, and says he trusts the opinions of the musicians and not of the smart music reviewers. Sorry, he adds. Now, I appreciate that he thinks I’m smart, and that I could even be considered a music reviewer, but it’s probably just a copy and paste deal. In any case, I think I’ll skip the second Kinks album, and return it to my friend who was nice enough to lend me the albums (thank you). He did tell me, after the fact, that Kinks fans are a different breed. Point well taken.

Even though my motives for putting Ten Years After on the turntable were less than honest, Alvin Lee still provides a good workout.

September 21, 2014 / thackersam

September 21 – The Beatles – Rubber Soul

Beatles RubberThe good new is, I found a copy of Rubber Soul. The bad news is that I found it in the library and have to return it in three weeks. I had always heard that Rubber Soul was the Beatles’ best album, and I wanted to agree, but I confess that I’ve never actually heard the whole thing before, only the songs from it. And listening to it for the first time tonight, I can say that I think that I do indeed agree. Even though I don’t think I have ever heard the Ringo song from this album, it is a consistently strong album with really great songs. How can you go wrong with a CD that begins with “Drive My Car”?

Workout-wise, too short, and I may have to combine it with Bobby Rydell.

I also took out from the library a set of CDs to learn to speak Spanish. It’s meant for drive time, but what the heck. I decided that it was about time I learned more than how to count to five, say “see you tomorrow” or “esta es un robo,” which I picked up from watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid too many times. I was 13 when the movie came out and I must say that Robert Redford made a big impact on me. Still does, though it’s not quite the same.

September 17, 2014 / thackersam

September 17 – Beastie Boys – Check Your Head

Beastie BDAMN FINE WORKOUT!

And that’s all I have to say.

Except – So what’cha what’cha what’cha want?

September 14, 2014 / thackersam

September 14 – The Kinks – The Kink Kronikles

Kink KronKronikles with two Ks – like in Kinks. Cute.

With apologies to my more than patient friend who lent me The Grateful Dead albums (I’m still enjoying American Beauty) and two Kinks albums, including this double record set compilation that features their songs from 1966 through 1970, I think I may prefer the earlier greatest hits album. I like some of the Kinks songs, but not a whole album, and especially not a double-record compilation in which I only recognize four or five songs, and am not wowed by anything else. Perhaps the other album will go over better.

The set starts with the song “Victoria,” and my friend Vicki liked the Kinks and Ray Davies, and thus of course liked that song tons. It may have been about 18 years ago when Ray Davies did his Storyteller tour that Vicki’s husband got her tickets to see him for her birthday. Two tickets in fact, but he didn’t want to go. So I got to. And it was fun. He is a good storyteller, though I recall a little on the bitter side, but my only complaint would be that he didn’t do “Apeman.” I even convinced Vicki that we should sit in our seats and wait for him to come out again because he had to do “Apeman.” This, even after two guys for whom it was obvious this was not the first show of the tour that they had seen, ran out of the theater as soon as Ray Davies left the stage without an encore. And even after most had already filed out of the theater. I felt bad that she believed me, and I had to disappoint. But I blame Ray.

September 11, 2014 / thackersam

September 10 – Janis, Bruce and Reading

Janis BruceI’m not posting, sort of, so I thought I would share this article for anyone who is a Bruce and/or Janis fan, or just thinks this is pretty cool.

From Asbury Park Press: The night Janis Joplin met Bruce Springsteen. Psychedelic blues singer had a close encounter with aspiring young rocker in Asbury Park. http://on.app.com/1obM8MK

So just a short comment off the topic, for me at least since I’m not really posting.

I need to read more. No. I need to read. My bedtime reading dwindled when I got a Blackberry a little more than four years ago. Yes. That was my first phone. Then with the IPhone, well forget reading. There have been small attempts, and then I decided to get serious, but start small. I took out my old copy of Animal Farm and I’ve gotten all the way through page 16, three times as a matter of fact, and after a few weeks of it gathering dust on the nightstand, I gave up. Then I thought I’d go easy and found my even older copy of Alice in Wonderland. That didn’t work either. Finally, after seeing a couple of off-off Broadway plays this late-summer, I found on my bookshelf a book of one-act plays that was printed in 1991, which I didn’t even know I had. I do like reading plays – Tennessee Williams, some August Strindberg – so it’s not a big surprise that it is doing the trick, and I am happy to report that I am reading again. Yay.

September 7, 2014 / thackersam

September 7 – Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Amy WI found Amy Winehouse to be most irksome in life, her life, and now that she is gone I kind of like her. Doesn’t sound very nice of me, does it? In my defense, what I knew about her was the bad example she set – deliberately, with her in your face – what are you going to do about it attitude. Now that she can no longer set that bad example, you hope that people who thought her lifestyle was cool would think – yeah, she did what she wanted, but whoa – she croaked (I’m just saying what they would say), and view that as a bit of a turn-off. So, at least for me, her music which lived in the shadow of her drug and alcohol-ridden jerk persona, rises like cream to the top. And it is really very good music. I even like “Rehab,” a lot. In fact, I have nothing but raves for this CD, another Housing Works find, and have been listening and exercising to it for the past few days.

Where do I begin? Each song is like an homage to a myriad of sounds. Motown, 60s English Beat, Lesley Gore, R&B, Billie Holliday, Bette Midler. If I keep listening, I’ll come up with more. But it’s a shame, cause she obviously loved music and soaked it all in, coming up with her own uniqueness in voice, style and look. I am taking it in with fascination at what she could do. Let me say that I absolutely adore the old Billy Paul song “Me and Mrs. Jones,” and thought that her “Me & Mr. Jones” would be her version of it. And I was curious. But no, it is her own completely different song, and a good one, yet you can tell she too was a fan of “Mrs. Jones.”

The thing is, and this smacks of irony, at least a little, the CD is short. The whole thing is 35 minutes. And I’ve noticed that the songs are also short. I kind of wish that she had just one long one – a longer version of “You Know I’m No Good” or “Me & Mr. Jones” (“Rehab” needs not be any longer). But they leave their mark. As her short life did. And I enjoy her now. Her music is great, and I can appreciate her style, even the whole persona. She was odd, and I like odd (I would tell you to ask my friends, but they may get insulted). She even did the odd look well. I now think she did a lot of things well, very well indeed, except what got her the most attention. Unless she really wanted to join the 27 club in immortality.

 

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