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What Are You Listening To....Now or Recently?

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Initial post: Jul 21, 2007, 10:05:04 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
I realize this is a fairly obvious question to pose but it's one that manages, always, to wind up providing us information from people other than professional critics. I'm actually a FAN of critics, since they've led me to some very good things I may not have found on my own. But there is something about the "real world" approach.

So here goes. This is what I'm listening to AS WE SPEAK....


Some of the "highlights":

Tainted Love - Soft Cell; Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club; I'm Stranded - the Saints; Soon - My Bloody Valentine; Blitzkrieg Bop - Ramones; Alex Chilton - the Replacements; Sonic Reducer - Dead Boys; Blank Generation - Richard Hell & the Voidoids......and a LOT of other great stuff by the likes of Depeche Mode, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths/Morrissey, etc.

Frankly, a lot of the songs on this collection I had already on the artist's albums but it IS a stellar set, regardless.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 10:36:36 AM PDT
S. Koch says:
E. Dill, I remember those "Just Say" Sire Compilation discs well. I have a bunch of them myself. They always had some cool cuts and nice mixes on them if I remember. To answer your question though, right now I am listening to:

Kitchens of Distinction

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 12:42:37 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
Of the three you mentioned (I have all of them in my collection), Japan is the one I seem to have ignored the most. I wonder why? I can't specifically remember any offense. I do remember they began as a "new romantic" band, not nearly as interesting as, say, Bowie or Roxy Music. Then, they changed courses and became an art rock band. Frankly, with my stuff in stacks right now due to some reorganization, I can't recall WHAT I have. If I DON'T have Tin Drum anymore, I'd like to and will once I complete my "inventory".

(Actually, I KNOW I have the Rain Tree Crow album)

I know I have Lunapark, Bewitched, Penthouse and Slide....I was drawn to Luna because their members were all from favorite bands of mine....Wareham from Galaxie 500, Demeski from The Feelies and Harwood from The Chills...

I THINK I still have KOD's Strange Free World. I KNOW I have an ep entitled 4 Men.

Nice choices. Of the three, LUNA would be my favorite. I'm a sucker for that "VU" sound.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 1:00:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2007, 1:01:36 PM PDT
K. Mosqueda says:
Less than a week ago I purchased James Brown's "The 50th Anniversary" double disc CD. Since then I have been playing the tracks almost daily. It is playing at this moment (while typing) on my iPod, connected to a couple of Bose speakers.

I can't listen enough! How can you go wrong with 50 of JB's greatest songs?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 1:14:22 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
And the guy had AT LEAST 50!

It's funny about Brown. The joke I always tell is how he can take a word (let's say "Popcorn" for instance....but it could be "Linoleum" and he'll make a 6 minute song from it. And, of course, it WOULD be a great one. The fact is, it's mostly in the rhythm. I've NEVER been a dancer and probably have NEVER danced in public in my life (excepting some involuntary moves I wasn't aware of)....but, if James doesn't make someone WANT to dance, they're dead!

One of the most memorable concerts I EVER went to was a James Brown Revue in 1963-4. I went with my girlfriend and my younger sister and her boyfriend. It seemed as though we were the only white people there. As I recall, he hadn't yet made the transition to the pop stations....this was pre-Papa's Gotta Brand New Bag" which seemed to create a whole new audience for him. But, he'd already made "Out of Sight" and I'd listened to his less funky stuff like "Please Please", etc. The concert WAS a trip....his stage show was a wonder, not only with his dancing but his bit where he'd fall to his knees and his backup singers would come over, pat him on the back and give him his cape back....then he'd begin to get up and remember his anguish "Please, please don't go......" and whip the cape off and be back on his knees again....and it WASN'T corny!!

What was soooooo different for us was how middle aged and older black women reacted to him and Solomon Burke.....they got up out of their seats and danced and yelled out and essentially let the music take over. It was a revelation and not one completely suprising to me. I'd already sensed that the "shock" over Elvis's hip movements was only a "white" thing.....that black blues performers....Muddy, etc. had been doing that in black clubs for years....

Yeah....James Brown....There was a time.....


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 1:45:14 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
I was also redoing my list of compilations (I lost the old lists due to a computer meltdown....I'll remember these words forever....backup, backup, backup)....and found myself listening to the following:

Easy Livin - Got it all Wrong (this is from a comp from EYE magazine which specializes, I think, in garage music. Well this comp does. I should add I'm talking about AMERICAN garage music NOT UK garage which is a form of electronica)

Steve Earle - Guitar Town (fr: Exposed Roots - best of Alt. Country)

PJ Harvey (love her!) - 50 Ft. Queenie (fr: EXPANDO V34 comp)

Lucinda Williams - Six Blocks Away (fr; EXPANDO V27)
Throwing Muses - Fire Pile (fr: DITTO)

PIECES ARE PARTS OF A GREAT 3 CD MATADOR RECORDS COLLECTION (THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY ONE).....Pavement, Cat Power, Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney etc.

Lee Morgan - Sidewinder (jazz at its best...from an Esqure comp I probably found for pennies.

I'm done with indexing the "E"'s. (Because nothing else makes any sense, I file and list comps alphabetically by the title of the comp.

On to the F's...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 1:50:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2007, 1:57:07 PM PDT
S. Koch says:
E. Dill, I too am a sucker for anything with that VU sound. I am a fan of "Tin Drum" for sure, but to this day my all time favorite Japan release has always been their live "Oil On Canvas." It's nice to see you have Rain Tree Crow in the collection as well. That one is WAY up there on my all time favorite list, in any genre. Since you mentioned these other bands on your last post, I also am a big fan of Galaxy 500, The Feelies, The Chills, PJ Harvey, Lee Morgan, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, James Brown. Heck, every one you have named so far I am a huge fan of. I think we have the same collection.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 2:29:06 PM PDT
I've been stuck on 'the Dan' lately, Countdown's Show Biz Kids, My Old School, and Pearl of the Quarter are near the top, but everything from Can't Buy a Thrill to 2 Against Nature is getting major play time, also the WAR early works and Average White Band's seminal works and Miles Davis, Weather Report, James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Lou Rawls...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 3:09:18 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
I have this weird thing with Steely Dan. I actually like their lyrics and vocals better than their music. I mean, the tunes are ok, it's the pristine perfection of their production. I know it's become cliche to say that, but it's true for me. I wish their music had more of an edge with less emphasis on jazz-lite.

Still, I have my favorite from each album and often the ones I like the best are the ones where I haven't a clue as to their meaning. Like, when they sing "I don't want to do your dirty work" are they suggesting they feel "used" by her sexual desires. I take it a lot of their songs represent "inside jokes"....thanks for sharing, guys.

My favorite War song is "Low Rider" with "Slippin Into Darkness" up there too. Ok, I DID kind of like "Spill the Wine" during Eric's stay.

The AWB are ok in my book but I think I did kind of MAKE them a "one hit wonder" because I couldn't seem to quit playing "Pick Up the Pieces"

I followed Davis throughout his career and found his success, both commercially AND critically to be one of the interesting stories in music. Why? Because in a music that seems to emphasize technical chops, Miles soared because of his "sound" not his "chops" (I know that sounds contradictory). He got more with less. I guess I think of that whenever the subject comes to best rock guitarists. There are a long line of guys who could play fast and furious but something was missing. With Miles, NOTHING was missing. Weirdly, his most rock influenced record is NOT my favorite. With Miles, I didn't WANT ensemble playing. I wanted Miles. One of the first things I ever heard him play as an extended work was the album "Sketches of Spain". A good friend when I was 16 had a babysitting gig for a black doctor who had a stellar jazz collection. We used to go thru his collection and got to Sketches and kept playing it and playing it.

I loved Weather Report when they first arrived on the scene. I was already VERY suspicious of jazz-rock experiments, finding that the ones with rockers who played jazz were usually better than vice versa, for my ear anyway. (I'd heard a LOT of horrible jazz-rock albums by very good players...Miles notwithstanding) But this stuff was different. It also may have been my first notice of Wayne Shorter. While not their best (like Heavy Weather and Myserious Traveler which I have), I STILL like Sweetnighter. Sometimes that FIRST connection sticks. As much as I LOVE Lucinda Williams, people are shocked at my emphasis on her "Happy Woman Blues",one of her least touted albums but MY FIRST.

I've already extolled James. Even his instrumental albums, which are often thought of as throwaways, are great as funky backround.

The P/F are unique (what EW&F would like to be if they weren't so proper). I also enjoyed the "connected" Bootsy's Rubber Band and have 4-5 of their albums.

"Tell Me Something Good" still my heart. I, at one time, thought Chaka ws the sexiest woman alive. And I liked her singing, Too.

Frankie baby CAN put over a song (or a character in a movie, too). I've gone back and collected some of his earlier stuff and that was very good too although in a different way. In his later years, he relied more on his phrasing. I LOVE that part of High Anxiety when Brooks' character gets invited to sing at a nightclub and is doing the title song, "High Anxiety"....and he's obviously doing a Sinatra thing... at one point when he get's to a line for the second or third time, he sings, in perfect Sinatra "style" substitutes "High anxiety" with "hey, ....ziety" Ok, you had to be there...

I got into Cash fairly early for a white Northern boy who once thought that all country music was racist, etc. Still, I was taken by "Ring of Fire' and "I Walk the Line" and decided he was one of the REAL country singers I could like.....I'd already made a similar decision with George Jones and Hank Sr....oh, and Patsy Cline. But there was a period in the middle of his career when he seemed to be popping records out every week when I got tired. Then came Rubin and American Recordings. Wow! I thought his take on "Hurt" was a wonder, even without the video.

Dylan is my genius.....period. He sometimes was snotty and even mean spirited in the way he treated people that loved him (Baez and Phil Ochs come to mind) but as a performer, he WAS unique and as important to me as ANY performer, living or dead.

I never got into Rawls that much. I have a greatest hits package of his and he was a very good song stylist. And, with his charity work, a stand up human being.

....they call Alabama the crimson be Deacon Blue....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2007, 3:27:58 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
The Feelies seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Perhaps they LOOKED too nerdy to catch on. (Remember them in "Something Wild"?)

Of course their timing sucked. They made their great "Crazy Rhythms" in 1980 and didn't release another record for 6 years!

I can't remember if the Chills were the beginning of my "thing" for New Zealand lo-fi (Clean, the Bats, etc.) I have it all but my favorite maybe the first I heard...."Submarine Bells". God I love(d) that album! I kept playing it and playing it. I'd find a cassette of it in a bargain bin and feel compelled to buy it and give it to a friend. (They NEVER seemed to mention it again!). I could go down the line, song by song, but I won't (I've obviously too wordy already!). Later, I went backward and got the great "Kaleidoscope World" and the others...

I also didn't connect with PJ right away. I liked what I heard but I didn't become a huge fan until a bit later. Frankly, she suffers from an image problem. She's as edgy and punky as she wants to be but seldom is mentioned like that. You'd swear she was a balladeer. I was bowled over by her video for "Mansize" and actually called VHI's request line to have them play it one day (something I NEVER do). I eventually bought a dvd of her videos, including that one. I didn't realize it, but I think it was a boot.

Lucinda may be my favorite female voice. I have other favorites, including Ronnie Spector, Peggy Lee (pure sex), Billie Holiday, a new one....Joanna Newsom, Gillian Welch, a Canadian who goes by "Oh Susannah"..., Aimee mann....and the list goes on. PJ and Lucinda are ON that list, at or near the top.

Earle is probably the male counterpart to my favorites in the alt-country arean. Some others might include Richard Buckner, Jim White (I don't know that I think of either of them as alt-country but their often thought of that way...

I'm a jazz fan but not a musician so I can only go by what I hear and what I read. I became interested in Morgan BECAUSE of the stuff I read about Sidewinder. I was NOT disappointed.

I'd guess you probably DON'T have the same collection because I also have scads (?) of puzzling stuff....its almost like I'll buy ANYTHING if it's cheap enough and it "rounds out" my collection historically. For instance, I've bought a lot of marginal heavy metal stuff to "round out" that genre and they've collected dust. I mean, have I EVER considered putting on that Motley Crue compilation? I actually DID, one day, get ALL my AC/DC records, tapes and cd's and actually listened to them, one after another. I was SHOCKED! After dissing them for years, I actually finally GOT them....if only for one day!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2007, 8:07:12 AM PDT
e dill im currently listeing to bonnie tyler i really like her a lot shes great cd super hits

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2007, 12:49:09 PM PDT
lissi03 says:
the piper at the gates of dawn, wish you where here, madcap laughs, any metallica.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2007, 1:12:38 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
As I'm writing this, I'm listening to the following "new cd's" (new to me, that is)....

Grizzly Bear - Horn of Plenty (if the rest of the album is as compelling as the first song "Deep Sea Diver", I'm in for a treat!

Cobra Verde - Copycat Killer (some interesting "covers", including "Get the Party Started", "Temptation" (New Order), "I Feel Love" (Donna Summer), "Play With Fire" (The Stones), "So Long, Marianne (Cohen), etc.

Frog Eyes - Tears of the Valedictorian
Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse

Kristin Hersh - Learn to Sing Like a Star (I usually wind up, one way or another, with everything she releases, starting with the wonderful Throwing Muses and on thru her solo career. I'm not sure if her "bi-polarality" (word?) gives her music its "edge" but there's no one that sounds quite like her...

Tegan and Sara - The Con (on first listen, this one insinuated itself on me for reasons I'm sure I understand.

Still in my pile to get to:

Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion
Wayne Hancock - Tulsa
The Shaky Hands - st
Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
Mountain Goats - All Hail West Texas
The Moonbabies - At the Ballroom

And some comps: (I have thousands and evidently that's not enough)..

Austin City Limits Music Festival: 2003
Classic Country: Kings of Country (this is CLASSIC stuff...stuff I mostly have already...Tubb, Snow, Frizzell, Hank Sr, Webb Pierce, Casgh, Price, Wagoner, Reeves, etc. etc.
Crucial Texas Blues
New Millennium Blues Party
Roots of Rockabilly v1
Rough Guide/South African Gospel
Sinners and Saints (1926-1931)
Southwestern Cookin
Ballads and Breakdowns/Songs from the Southern Mountains v2
Blind Pig Records - 20th Anniversary (I already HAVE one of these but I think it was a "different" anniversary set)

I've got some serious listening to do (ok, not THAT's supposed to be fun.....ALWAYS!)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2007, 3:21:05 PM PDT
Well, right now, I'm listening to these bands shuffled up on my iPod:

Casper and the Cookies
The Sounds
I Am the World Trade Center
Rilo Kiley (...always)
Fat Tulips
Helen Love
Junior Senior


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2007, 4:24:51 PM PDT
The Walrus says:
"Rock The Nation"-Montrose

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2007, 10:31:52 PM PDT
Bludge says:
I've been stuck on the Exploding Hearts and Lair of the Minotaur. They are punk rock in the vein of the Ramones and New York Dolls and what groove-metal is all about, respectively.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2007, 6:55:45 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2007, 9:41:52 AM PDT
S. Finefrock says:
Lot's of good music out there on previous posts. Glad to see some more Rain Tree Crow fans. That's been a special album for quite a few years now. I sometimes get seasonal in my tastes. Summer brings out the reggae, R&B and rock stuff, while winter (or what passes for it in NC) brings out more jazz and folk oriented stuff. Here's my current top 10.
1. Jonny Greenwood is the Controller (great Trojan reggae comp by Radioheads(!?!?) guitarist.
2. Spoon-Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
3. The Avett Brother-Emotionalism The best album I've heard this year.
4. The Stooges-first album Always in season.
5. Funkadelic-One Nation Under a Groove -With a great live Maggot Brain at the end.
6. Amy Winehouse-Back to Black
7. Cat Power-The Greatest-It sounds like a hot, lazy afternoon.
8. Tim Easton-Break Your Mother's Heart
9. The Bongos-Drums Along the Hudson Cousins to the Feelies!
10. Brian Eno-Another Green World- Essential late night listening
Also a download of a Calexico show in Sweden from a few years ago that's spectacular.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2007, 3:27:27 PM PDT
The Walrus says:
"Peace...Back By Popular Demand"-Keb' Mo', covers of peace and protest music, right now, "For What It's Worth" is playing...

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2007, 3:59:07 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
I hadn't heard or heard of that Keb Mo album of covers.....I'm not sure what to think. Ok, since I haven't followed him that closely, I'm not one to get angry or disappointed that the songs are not done blusier. The "blues" is in the lyrics (a hopeful blues, I might add). I guess for me, they're a bit too laid back. I mean, ok, some might say Gaye's "What's Goin On" or "Mercy Mercy Me" were a bit laid back too. I don't know. I guess I'd simply say that I don't share the opinion of most of those who reviewed the album on Amazon, some suggesting the covers were at least as good if not better than the orginals. I have nothing against covers by the way, I take them as they come. Sometimes I hear a "copy" and like it because of the arrangement or voice. Other times I hear a complete remake (Devo's Satisfaction) and am taken by the new approach. This time I guess I'd say that it's probably a nice album for quiet reflection, no more, no less.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2007, 4:09:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2007, 4:49:07 PM PDT
The Walrus says:
Don't quote me, but I believe that it was Muddy Waters who said that "...rock 'n' roll is the illegitimate son of the blues..." {he did write a song, "The Blues Had A Baby And They Called It Rock 'n' Roll"}, whether this is true or not, rock 'n' roll owes alot to the blues...this cd is real laid back, good mood music, great back ground...are the covers better than the originals???...absolutely not, just a different, interesting interpretation...

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2007, 1:10:43 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
I've been going thru my cd's, reconstructing my "lists" by alphabet after my old computer crashed and my data was lost.

I came upon a cd I KNOW I never really listed to....unfortunately, that happens too often. I bought it for next to nothing and never got around to playing it. It's called Kung-Pow by 6X and, frankly, because I'd never put it on, I thought it was a japanese pop group (the writing is mostly in Japanese). I put it on and lo and behold, it's some very engaging pop music with a female lead singer that adds to the fun. I checked on to get some info on the group and found the album on sale for $0.01 (plus shipping, of course). That's what gets me about those that moan about nothing to listen to. Besides all the library stuff that's at your fingertips, you can find stuff like this on sites like, ebay and I may get their sophomore release....I think that one is "expensive" though....maybe over a buck!

Go 6X wherever you are!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2007, 1:15:27 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
I guess I should have added that 6X are NOT a Japanese pop band but rather an American band that plays something akin to power pop and/or punk pop. Great stuff!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2007, 1:26:44 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
As I work my way thru my "S"'s, I came upon The Stooges first and had to put it on.....WOW!

I was reading a review from that was quite good at putting the music into words....

"While the Stooges had a few obvious points of influence - the swagger of the early Rolling Stones, the horny pound of the Troggs, the fuzztone sneer of a thousand teenage garage bands, and the Velvet Underground's experimental eagerness to leap into the void - they didn't really sound like anyone else around when their first album hit the streets in 1969. It's hard to say if Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, Dave Alexander, and the man then known as Iggy Stooge were capable of making anything more sophisticated than this, but if they were, they weren't letting on, and the best moments of this record document the blithering inarticulate fury of the post-adolescent id. Ron Asheton's guitar runs (fortified with bracing use of fuzztone and wah-wah) are so brutal and concise they achieve a naïve genius, while Scott Asheton's proto-Bo Diddley drums and Dave Alexander's solid bass stomp these tunes into submission with a force that inspires awe. And Iggy's vividly blank vocals fill the "so what?" shrug of a thousand teenagers with a wealth of palpable arrogance and wondrous confusion. One of the problems with being a trailblazing pioneer is making yourself understood to others... But "1969," "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "Real Cool Time," "No Fun," and other classic rippers are on board, and one listen reveals why they became clarion calls in the punk rock revolution. Part of the fun of The Stooges is, then as now, the band managed the difficult feat of sounding ahead of their time and entirely out of their time, all at once.

I LOVE that last sentence....managing to sound ahead of their time and entirely out of their time, all at once....


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2007, 2:48:40 PM PDT
M. J. Gawlik says:
While I mainly listen to blues, right now I'm diggin' a compilation
I put together of stuff I've had on reel-to-reel tape since the
late '60's, including:

The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood - Pete Seeger
The Viper - Tiny Tim (yeah, you read that right)
Lost John Blues - Doc Watson
Paths Of Victory - Bob Dylan
Daily News - Tom Paxton
Guabi Guabi - Ramblin' Jack Elliot
Chicago Cops - Bob Gibson & Bob Camp
Henry Thomas - The Lovin' Spoonful

But coming up will be a "Summer Of Love" festival with Cream, the
Airplane, Buffalo Springfield, Moby Grape, Country Joe & The Fish,
and Big Brother & the Holding Company.
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