Wood Burning

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Songs Of The Week 7.0: 4/11-4/17

The True Wheel- Brian Eno
Sorry Suzanne- The Hollies
Run Me Down- The Higsons
Everybody Have A Good Time- The Darkness
When Love Goes To Sleep- Billy Bremner
Every Night About This Time- Fats Domino
Poor Boy- Nick Drake


Friday, April 17, 2015

"TR: What Have You Done For Me Lately?": THE WEEKEND MIX

"Hey Sal, speaking of Todd Rundgren, what about doing one of those 10 great songs from an artist's shitty albums playlists for Todd?"
-Bruce H 

Done and done, though as I replied to Bruce on the original post, many readers feel Todd's last 25 albums were shitty. So to those people I say, move on. There's nothing to hear here.

But to those game, here are ten songs: nine from 1989 & beyond and one, "The Verb To Love," from 1975, which had to be included because it is my favorite Rundgren song of all.

I would like to also point out, just in case this has gotten lost along the way, I am a huge fan of the man, I respect the man, and it is only his recent forays into rap and EDM that have really gotten my hairs up.

No Utopia songs have been included because that is a completely different animal. (More like two animals.)


Courage ("Arena")
Soul Brother ("Liars")
Weakness* ("Arena")
No World Order ("No World Order")
Hawking ("Nearly Human")
God Said ("Liars")
Buffalo Grass ("One Long Year")
The Verb "To Love" ("Faithful")
Past ("Liars")
Feel It ("Nearly Human")


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Catching Up...Briefly

I spent a big chunk of this morning catching up on some newish releases. Here's some of what I listened to.

Brian Wilson's "No Pier Pressure" is quite frankly unlistenable. I didn't expect "Pet Sounds." Hell, I didn't even expect "Love You." But this is a new low in sound and lyrics. I love you, Brian, but as our friend Jeff K. pointed out, "a record like this is an indicator that an artist doesn't have anyone around him strong enough to say 'no, that sucks" to him, like Billy Crystal after 'City Slickers.'"

Alabama Shakes new one, "Sound & Color" is even less exciting than their first. I will admit to warming up to some of their debut, though it's hardly the "Otis Blue" it's been hyped to be. "Sound & Color" is an apt title, since that is all it really is. "Songs & Hooks" is what the band really needs.

Rhiannon Giddens' "Tomorrow Is My Turn" has some really fantastic moments. People are loving this record and I can hear why. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but what it has going for it that so many records do not is heart. Giddens oozes soul and inspiration. The Pasty Cline cover, "She's Got You" should have been better, but the exquisite "Shake Sugaree" more than makes up for it.

Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts mix it up on "Blaster," showing off their love for 70's glam and hard rock, as well as some 90's grunge. It doesn't all work, but when it does, it really pays off. "Amethyst," "White Lightning" and "Blue Eyes" form a killer trifecta, with "Blue Eyes" even hitting power pop territory. And it's hard to fuck up T. Rex's "20th Century Boy," so they didn't.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The "Not Terrible" Is The New "Amazing" Challenge

Okay, maybe I am a little obsessed with all of this, but to be fair, it does make for interesting debate.

While I sit and wait, hopes and expectations gradually disappearing for good, for one more brilliant Todd Rundgren record, I'm thinking about how low the bar has dropped. It's pretty obvious, at least to my ears, that almost all of our musical heroes can no longer live up to the highs of their past glories.

I don't believe any Bob Dylan fan is expecting one more "Blood On The Tracks" from the man. But I also don't believe that Dylan is completely incapable of this, just like I don't believe Todd Rundgren or Prince or Neil Young are incapable of one more classic release. Or maybe I should say "won't" believe. Big difference.

You see, if we are going to hold Beach Boys records like "Pet Sounds" and "Today" and "Smile" with such respect, how can we listen to the last 15-20 years of Brian Wilson music and think the same? "Sticky Fingers" or "Undercover?" "Harvest" or "Reactor?" "Sign O' The Times" or "The Rainbow Children?" Again, there's a place for all of it, but let's not kid ourselves. Some of it is great. Some of it is crap. It has to be that way.

But I digress. There is a challenge here, if you are willing to take it on.

I was going to ask that you think of one absolute favorite record and then realized that no one can choose just one. So, the challenge is three. Only three. Choose three of your favorite records of all-time, preferably from before 1990. Then, pick three of your favorite records from the last 25 years.

See if your new three come close to the magic of your old three.

I don't doubt that there has been some fantastic music in the last 25 years. But I do believe our standards have changed. While it may be healthier to just accept and move on, once in awhile we should admit that it just isn't as much fun as putting up a bit of a fight.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Songs Of The Week 7.0: 4/4-4/10

Back N Blue- Cheap Trick
Ghosts- Laura Marling
Too Many Teardrops- Carlene Carter
Take Out Some Insurance- Jimmy Reed
Michael & Heather At The Baggage Claim- Fountains Of Wayne
Guts- John Cale
Crawling Back To You- Tom Petty


Friday, April 10, 2015

The Weekend Mix, 4/10/15

There is a different reason for each song chosen for this Weekend Mix. Once it was put together, there seemed to be an inadvertent melancholy to it all...and this is why Freddie Mercury's "My Melancholy Blues" was added at the last minute.

But the mix did not start out with a theme. And I had no intention of creating a downer mix.

It just happened.

I had pulled out Bram Tchaikovsky's debut, wanting to hear his monster cover of "I'm A Believer" and was reminded that there was a lot more to this record than just the hit "Girl Of My Dreams.

I had been walking with the iPod and a tune came on that I was sure was from some obscure, grey area, b-list rock and soul compilation. It ended up being The Pretty Things.

I had been talking to a friend about Neil Young and rattled off my 5 favorite Neil albums. "On The Beach" made the list.

In light of the Boz & Lucinda cover of "Whispering Pines," I was discussing getting off the Lucinda Williams bus with another pal of mine and started thinking about artists I would have died for, but now couldn't care less after the well had been poisoned for so many years. Prince came to mind, and so I dug out his 2nd record to remind myself of what I loved.

So you see, one by one, these songs were chosen, possibly for individual posts. But as it happened, it all sounded good together, even if the upbeat tunes are few and far between.

Oh yeah, and the Petty "Song Of The Day?" That was pulled last minute because I love it so much, especially the last few lyrics--

I'm so tired of being tired
Sure as night will follow day
Most things I worry about
Never happen anyway

Thought I leave that one on its own.


Enjoy, I hope.


Routine Day- Klaatu
Waterfront- Simple Minds
Gonna Find Me A Substitute- The Pretty Things
Unsatisfied- The Replacements
My Melancholy Blues- Queen
God Of Low- Kasim Sulton
Femme Fatale- Elvis Costello
In God's Shadow- John Waite
I'm The One That's Leaving- Bram Tchaikovsky
Motion Pictures- Neil Young
I Drove All Night- Roy Orbison
Social Disease- Elton John
Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad- Prince