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511881 Posts in 17314 Topics by 3098 Members - Latest Member: Bruces Shorts May 05, 2015, 08:15:44 AM
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51  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: LISTEN TO THE LAST SONG & ON THE ISLAND!! BBC RADIO on: March 29, 2015, 04:29:37 PM
it's a bit more Bruce Johnston than Brian Wilson (or Dennis Wilson).

While I certainly understand what's meant by this, the thing is, it's not. Because it's all Brian (maybe with cowriters) and no Bruce. So really it's maybe just that it's not what some people want out of Brian. (What's new...) But it is Brian. That's who's responsible.
52  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rank the released NPP songs on: March 29, 2015, 09:10:19 AM
Just so history has some almost first impressions (or at least early ones) to laugh at later.

1. Saturday Night.
Nate Ruess's clear, bright voice is exactly why I want modern-day Wilson albums to include other singers. It's not that I don't believe Wilson himself can sing anymore--certainly he can--but even in his prime, one of the Beach Boys' main charms was the diversity of vocals, the right voice at the right time in the right part. With all due respect to the man, I think Wilson would sound pretty bad on this lead. He's just not punchy enough. Al would be better, but still not quite vigorous enough. (I'd have taken Darian here, though. Happily.) Besides the lead, I just think this is a really good song, something I think might have been a hit once. '70s, maybe.

2a. The Last Song.
I was concerned this was going to be underwhelming with the various mentions made of it in the past year or so. After all, I found what I consider its TWGMTR soulmate, "Summer's Gone," by far the least interesting or rewarding of the album-ending trilogy. But I think this is a great pop ballad. The arrangement is really nice, actually. Really nice. I'm guessing there is major credit to Mr. Mertens, here, but whoever did the strings, kudos. The bass has its moments, the organ is subtly nice. The harmonies, the background voices, well, it's a Brian Wilson song, isn't it? Beautiful. Whatever cheese there is, I'm more than willing to accept on its own terms. And I'm a sucker for la-la-las. And you know what else? Performance and arrangements aside, I think it's just a really well written song.

2b. I Guess You Had to Be There.
Let me be clear, I am a huge fan of Kacey Musgraves. I think she's one of the very best songwriters on planet Earth right now. She's an absolutely delightful lyricist--the kind of winking wit that makes for the best country music--and a solid harmonic crafts(wo)man. "Follow Your Arrow," "Dandelions," It Is What It Is," her new "Biscuits" … for someone with one album and a few singles, her catalogue is already impressive. So it's a little ironic that for the most part I'm not in love with these lyrics. Granted, nostalgia in general turns me off. But as simple as the song's construction is, I think it's really well done. I think the refrain is great with its interplay between leads, harmonies, and background harmonies. For a song that sounds to be just I-V-IV-V throughout, there is a lot going on.

4. Sail Away.
Yeah, I mentioned not being a nostalgic kind of person. It's not easy being me. This one is the most overtly, self-consciously "Brian Wilson." I don't think it's "Kona Coast" or anything, but it's definitely dancing along a line I prefer not to approach so closely. But a couple paragraphs ago I mentioned accepting cheese on its own terms, so I have to do the same with nostalgic near-self pastiche, right? And to be fair, maybe pastiche (even near pastiche) isn't fair. Whatever "Sail Away" is, it is a good job of it. It was well sung. It sounds great. The vocal interplay is great: I'd like to hear an a cappella mix.

5. The Right Time.
When I first heard it, the word "inoffensive" kept coming to mind. That doesn't seem like a glowing review (and I guess it's not). The other word was "professional." Again, negative connotations, I suppose. But increasingly I just think it sounds like a nice album track. (Yes, that's odd for a leadoff single.) I enjoy it well enough, especially the refrain.

6. I'm Feeling Sad.
I'm not sure exactly where I'll end up on this one--or anything else, really. My opinions change over time all the time, and that's fine by me. I'm not running for office, I can flip-flop.  Grin I enjoy this song, for the most part. Historically I've always enjoyed the simple, slice-of-life BW tunes more than the polished ones, but for whatever reason this time around I seem to be feeling exactly opposite. (Maybe I'm old enough to relate to adult contemporary!) I could have gone for some of the background singers doing the ascending middle BW vocal in one spot. It's a weird thing to think, but it's really what stands out to me when I listen to this one. For some unknown reason, this is also the first one to make me think I can't wait to have and listen to the whole album whenever I want, no more of this revisiting radio streams and hearing DJs and watching Youtube. Is this relevant at all? Is my opinion beginning to be shaded by that increasingly frustrating experience? ("Frustrating experience" being a first-world problem: having to listen to pre-release songs by your favorite songwriter in a just barely less than ideal format.)

7. Runaway Dancer.
If only that sax were gone… Maybe it's that I grew up in the sax-laden '80s, maybe it's that I played sax in school. Maybe it's that sax should be left in jazz or as a background harmony instrument in 1950s rock n roll or R n B. I really like this song and recording more and more, except that damn thing. If it were a synth, maybe, especially if there were some kind of contrapuntal part over it. Then we'd have something. And Brian Wilson really wants my approval on this sort of decision.

8. On the Island.
What little of a song this is, it sounds nice enough. A bit hazy, something that while only a couple minutes long could probably go on a few hours if it were turned down and one were sufficiently intoxicated. I'm not (yet). I kept wanting something else to happen. Nothing else did. (The lead guitar sounds cool. Is that M. Ward, I wonder? Or David? Or someone else?)

9. Our Special Love.
Still some great vocal arranging and wonderful singing. Even a nice song. But still too much like a Christian college a cappella group my mom might like. If only the beat box and bass were replaced. Or the "nothin but nothin." Or the "doesn't matter where we are…" octave lead. I wish there were a nice instrumental track--nothing obtrusive, just a bed--were here instead. And again, Brian really cares what I want. I'm important.
53  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: No Pier Pressure Links on: March 27, 2015, 05:19:52 PM
This is so absurd. There are good arguments I've heard about the morality and economic effects of illegally downloading music. None have been raised here. It has nothing to do with illegal downloaders' vs. paying customers' equality or fandom-connection to Brian Wilson, that's for fucking sure. And before I rant--which I'm about to--here's the disclaimer where I say I'm no angel on the topic. And I'm only talking below about downloading commercially available music without paying for it when the music's owners are not offering it for free download. I'm not especially sober, so forgive any errors below. Or don't. I don't much care.

Downloading free copies of music from an unauthorized source when that music is available for purchase through standard commercial means can be discussed in several sometimes interrelated ways. This thread matches my experience in that the points being made on all sides tend to skip freely from one way to another.

Three primary ways to view the practice seem to me to be:
-       Legality
-       Morality
-       Economic effects
 
Legality.
Legally, there is no question in the US. Even for personal, noncommercial use, it is illegal per the “No Electronic Theft (NET) Act,” which changed previous relevant law’s (The Copyright Act, I think) requirements to expand the requirement of “financial gain” on the part of the would-be criminal to mean more than just selling bootlegs (for example), but rather to include “receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including … copyrighted works.”
 
A cursory glance online shows that virtually all developed nations, including WTO members (which includes Russia), are signatory to a treaty that requires compliance with other countries’ copyright infringement claims. So while I’m far from an expert, it certainly seems illegal to download or upload copyrighted material even outside the nation where the copyright is held.

If you're uploading or downloading commercially available material outside of a legit commercial transaction with the rights-holder, you're stealing (by law). You can try to rationalize it on moral or economic grounds. But legally, you are stealing.
 
Morality.
Illegal downloading is often defended by the “artists are rich” argument—that has been a constant since Metallica spoke out against Napster, just as Garth Brooks was pilloried for his criticisms of used albums being sold without further royalties to artists in the ‘90s (and various artists and labels complaining about cassettes earlier). The good old Robin Hood argument. You certainly could try to make an argument about the ongoing accumulation of wealth by the wealthy at the expense of the poorer…but that doesn’t really relate to this argument. But really, is it OK to steal if it's from the rich? Is it OK to kill an asshole? Is it OK to rape a jerk? The rightness of an action is not determined by the object of the action.
 
First and most obviously, very, very, very few artists are rich. In fact, very few record label/media companies are all that profitable. The vast majority of musicians (and labels) make little or no money.

But more important is that it’s simply immoral for one party to unilaterally make a decision regarding a 2-party transaction. “Because I said so” only works with a parent and a seven-year-old. For a commercial transaction to be morally legitimate, I’d think both parties to the transaction should be complicit. If I offer something for $10, it isn’t the buyer’s choice to pay less unless I eventually concede to the lower price. No person should be able to unilaterally impose his will on another in this respect

The fact that the sites exist—easily recognizable—from which to download music illegally doesn’t change the morality of what is being done. If it is wrong (and I argue it is), then it’s wrong whether you can achieve it or not. A 20-year-old physically fit man could presumably very easily knock down an old woman. The simplicity of getting away with it doesn’t change the morality of doing it.

Economic Effects.
This one comes up a lot in defense of illegally downloading and sharing music, too. It can in some circumstances even make sense. But I think it’s important to realize that even if one were to concede that there is no economic harm involved, that doesn’t undo the legality or morality of the situation.

So is there economic harm involved? One common defense is, by sharing music illegally, I am helping the artist get exposure and his tours will be more successful in the future if he comes to my area. This is not on its face obviously untrue. But neither is it necessarily true. First and foremost, artists can (and do) share their music online for free use—if not possession—already via radio, Youtube, Spotify, etc. Rather than file-sharing, you could simply point your friends to an online link or a radio station where the tune is in rotation and theoretically have the same effect.

Second, there is the common argument that I didn’t take money from the artist’s pocket because I wasn’t going to buy it: if I hadn’t illegally downloaded it, I would have simply done without. On a case-by-case basis, that might be true. But looking at music sales overall, it obviously isn’t true (unless people simply don’t listen to music as much as they used to). Music sales—including legitimate, online sales—are far, far, far, far (enough fars?) lower than they were before file sharing was convenient.

The reality is, a huge number of people steal music rather than pay for it. Some of that money would have gone to very rich record execs. Some would have gone to very rich artists. Some to middle-class ones. Some to poor ones. Some to associated industries, whether graphic designers or engineers or studio janitors or whatever else.

Concurrently, and somewhat ironically through the same kind of technological explosion that allows online piracy, people have become more able than ever before to make music more cheaply and to make more of the money on their own products that they do sell by going directly to buyers online. No argument there. But even if that is true, it doesn’t justify the practice of taking for free.

Also lumped into the economics portion, the thing about the fact that illegal sources aren't shut down implicitly making it OK. That's idiotic. The truth is, police don't stop everyone who speeds because it is not cost-effective to do that. It doesn't make speeding legal. The US government doesn't focus on every single illegal immigrant, but on those committing violent acts or dealing drugs. College security doesn't focus on underage drinking and weed, but on narcotics and violence. In everything, there are choices based on resources. Artists in the US or Europe can't go chasing every odd small-time downloader of a song. It's not cost-effective. But that doesn't make it morally acceptable or legal for the downloader or uploader of the song. It's still illegal and immoral. Hershey's won't hunt you down for stealing a candy bar; it's still wrong to steal a candy bar, and their decision not to chase you isn't the same as their implied consent on the matter.

Anyway, that’s my little thought-vomit on the subject.
54  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: New: Valentine's Day ii on: March 14, 2015, 12:23:45 PM
It's roman numerals.
ii equals 2
vii equals 7.

Beautiful song, Captain.

Thank you. And you're correct, it's just a Roman numeral: it's just the second song I did that I called Valentine's Day. (Lower case numeral as kind of a play on the fact that it's a bit sad, with lower-case Roman numerals indicating minor chords in music theory, and minor often indicating sad.)

Nice song Luther.  I wish I could play the piano, I think writing a song on piano would be incredible.

Thank you. I wish I could play piano well. I took a few months of lessons in third grade and had to pass a basic competence test in college to proceed with my music major, but I haven't had the discipline to become a decent player. I'm a bit of a plunker, coincidentally in the style of BW. Mostly just block chords for the architecture of the harmonic structure.
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: New: \ on: March 03, 2015, 05:45:53 PM
Sounds like our winter last year. Brutal cold.

Re the bassline, thanks. I quite liked that part, too. The chords are F# ' F#7 ' / B ' D ' / A ' ' ' / E7 ' ' ' / F# ' ' ' / B7 ' ' ' / E7 ' ' ' / and I really liked that little ascending line, too.

Re the piano, it's real. The beauty of lazy and basic engineering: you get what you get. I have a console piano and just put a pair of mics over it, right and left. If it takes me more than about two minutes to set anything up, I just don't record. So it doesn't take me more than two minutes to set anything up, ever. As long as I'm just fucking around like this and demoing (and endless supply of) sh*t, it doesn't matter anyway. So it's basic setup and first not-abhorrent take everywhere.

56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: New: \ on: March 03, 2015, 03:53:50 PM
Thanks, feelsflow, for the nice compliments.

Actually in Minneapolis, it hasn't been that bad a winter. (Ducks to avoid snowballs the rest of the nation throws.) Less snow than usual, not as cold as usual. Last year, we kept getting cold and some snow into May, so it's not as if we usually have it good. But this year, not bad. It's just that we finally got cold beginning in the second week of February, and it has been persistent since then. So after a mild winter, to suddenly see the days lengthen but the cold deepen, that has been rough on the spirit.

As for what inspired the song, though? Mostly just the matter-of-fact first couple lines--I just didn't feel like going to work, so I didn't--and the "oh oh oh" thing that was in my head. The rest was just tossed together around it, typical luther slop.
57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / New: "Cardamom Coffee" on: February 28, 2015, 09:52:17 AM
If you're so inclined, have a listen to "Cardamom Coffee" at https://soundcloud.com/the-beau-mondes/cardamom-coffee
58  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / New: Valentine's Day ii on: February 14, 2015, 02:22:19 PM
The morning's work writing and recording.

https://soundcloud.com/the-beau-mondes/valentines-day-ii
59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 23, 2015, 05:34:37 AM
It has been a slow road with Rubio! The injury occurred on Nov 7, I think. But in addition to bad sprain, Flip said he tore some things in there. He's finally in full practices now and will be back when there's no pain or swelling. I'd guess 1-2 more weeks minimum.

The other side of it is, they just signed him to that $55 mil extension. They're not going to risk further damage now in an already lost season.
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The 1980's Appreciation Lounge on: January 22, 2015, 04:51:34 PM
My work here is done. (For now, anyway.)
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 22, 2015, 04:22:49 PM
It was nice to have him back. 14 and 4, I think, in a limited bench role. We'll be much better with him, and with Martin (who could be back any day). To have your backups go from the likes of Raduljica, Budinger, and LaVine to Dieng, Muhammad, and Mo Williams? Yes please.
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The 1980's Appreciation Lounge on: January 22, 2015, 04:15:32 PM
Nobody here, or anywhere else for that matter, needs me to list out albums from the '80s that hit everyone's best of all time. We all have access to those lists. Maybe that is what Bubbly wants--that or at least recommendations. I'm not sure I want to give a recommendation. Instead I reminisced a little bit about that decade and how I thought about music then. Of what I loved at the time, barely of any of it remains in high esteem (by me, I mean). Graceland and Prince's stuff are probably the only things that were beloved then and now. Other things, like Waits's stuff, I came to well after the fact.

But f*** all that. Here's something else. Here's Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry.
...............
In 1980s rural Minnesota, the almost literal witch hunt for satanism in rock music felt like an obsession. For those of us listening to that purportedly satanic rock music, it was terrifying.

A prepubescent, newly fascinated connoisseur of hard rock and metal struggled in a very conservative Christian household. Songs with curse words were to be played quietly--contrary to every instinct--or through headphones. Album covers with scantily clad women had to be kept out of sight. Most of all, anything looking or sounding satanic had to be disavowed entirely. "I listen to hard rock, mom," the kid would say, "but I don't like that satanic stuff."

The problem in the American influenced by Tipper Gore, the Peters Brothers, and television journalists ready to jump on the dream story of teenage suicides inspired by satanic cults--and yes, they seemed insistent these things existed--was that "satanic" meant damn near everything more risqué than Stryper or Petra. Long hair, torn or tight clothes, men in makeup, obviously any religious imagery whatsoever, anything more reasonably categorized as fantasy (e.g., elves, wizards and the like), any sentiment questioning the merits of a Reagan-era American dream: satanic. Or at least under heavy suspicion.

When Pee-Wee's Big Adventure featured a scene that included Twisted Sister filming a video for their "Burn in Hell," I was placed in a very awkward position. Number one, even saying hell outside of the context of church was an issue in my home. One could just as well have said fucking c***. But number two, a song whose refrain threatened that you'd burn in hell, well, that was pure satanism. Simple as that. My mom didn't have to hear anything else. Not "welcome to the abandoned land. Come on in, child, take my hand. Here, there's no work or play. Only one bill to pay. There's just five words to say as you go down, down down."

Just "you're gonna burn in hell," sung by these ugly men garishly dolled up in absurd makeup and feathered or fringed costumes.

I was so f***ed.

See, by this time--1985--I knew Stay Hungry, the 1984 album on which "Burn in Hell" appeared. Like, really well. I owned the cassette several times, wearing it out from overuse. I considered it the greatest album of all time, or at least in a tight competition with Van Halen's 1984. I was 11 years old.

In the same way that KISS would affect me around the same time or soon after, Twisted Sister had the perfect formula for an adolescent boy. These were huge hooks being punched by the cornered, oppressed underdog. And what 11-year-old boy isn't a cornered, oppressed underdog?

"We've got the right to choose it. There ain't no way we'll lose it. This is our life, this is our song … you don't know us, you don't belong. We're not gonna take it. … Oh, you're so condescending. Your goal is never-ending. We don't want nothin'--not a thing--from you."

The guitar solos are familiar to me even today. Right now--right now!--I am listening to "We're Not Gonna Take It" and miming the whammy bar dives, so entirely ingrained into my psyche did they become 30 years ago. The riffs were among the first I ever learned, and they're rock solid examples of hard rock music.

Twisted Sister were not what we've long-since come to know and dismiss as hair metal. This wasn't a band conceived of by the marketing team of a major label, assembled from girlish boys whose parts could be recorded by Rod Morgenstein, Greg Bissonette, Billy Sheenan, Steve Luthaker as long as the "band" wore their tight leather pants with the banana or rolled-up sock inserted just so. Twisted Sister had by this time been working the clubs of New York for 10 years and had released a couple of albums. They weren't apart from the now-hilarious fashions of the day, but they weren't so much in it, either. More gruesome than girly, more monster than manicured.

"Stay Hungry," the leadoff and title track, rocks. Like, really rocks. A.J. Pero and Mark Mendoza drive it hard on drums and bass, respectively, the guitars really just pounding out sustained power chords atop the rushing current of rhythm … at least until the dual-guitar solo. It, and the whole album that follows, is big. Everyone knows the cartoonish mid-tempo anthems, "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." Other songs sped past more akin to "Stay Hungry." There were gothic comics and, yes, a power ballad.

Nobody needs a track-by-track, but I mention these songs excitedly because I haven't heard them in more than 20 years. Stay Hungry went from the greatest album of all time to one of those albums I used to like in a heartbeat, not so much because of Nirvana--I hated Nirvana--but because when contemporary music chased its northwestern nirvana, I dug into the past and obsessed on the guitar gods of the '60s and '70s, then jazz, then whatever else.

But listening again now, this is a great album. Always was, always will be. I probably won't listen to it again for many more years, if ever, because it has nothing to do with me now. The adolescent anger and frustration wore themselves out a long time ago; I'm not backed into a corner and have nobody and nothing to rebel against.

But for what it is, for who needs it, this is a masterpiece.


63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The 1980's Appreciation Lounge on: January 22, 2015, 05:43:34 AM
There is (and was, and ever shall be) great music and bad music and mediocre music. The usually it has seemed that recently passed decades are the least beloved, then the nostalgia or ironic or sincere rediscovery jumpstarts their reputations again. The music, recorded, doesn't seem to notice and just goes on existing as it ever did.

80s music, especially its dance elements, certainly are in vogue again.

I'm at work and so don't have time to get into it all now, but I'll talk some 80s with y'all. I was there, aged 3.5-13.5!
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 21, 2015, 05:24:34 PM
Pek returns!
65  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys DREAMS on: January 20, 2015, 04:55:31 AM
Last night I dreamed I was at an ex's place and when she went off to bed, the NPP televised special was on. It had several additional new songs from what we know, including with and without guests. Scott and Darian had a tune where they split leads. I heard all the music and it was great (which means I write like BW, right?).

They kept saying the album would be out next week.
66  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The fact Mike has admitted to reading this board on: January 19, 2015, 03:57:16 PM
This place used to be like a fun dive bar on Hawthorne Ave. Now it's a dive bar with secret peepholes and recording devices.

Yup... Mike says on his FB page that he cruises Smiley Smile. Big secret.  Grin

These legendary musicians just can't get enough of my writing. It's almost tedious by this point. I know, Brian! I know, Mike! I'm really fascinating!
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The return of the "What are you listening to now?" thread on: January 19, 2015, 03:22:32 PM
That general era of Zappa--post original Mothers, pre Roxy era Mothers--is really good for me. Sort of in transition, but still just fabulous. Some virtuosity, some clunkiness on occasion, and on this album a little less of the other side of Zappa that I tend to like less (the jokey stuff--not that I dislike it all, by any means), plus before the electronic instruments and sound choices that started up a decade or so later. I'm going to listen to this album now.
68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The return of the \ on: January 19, 2015, 03:12:51 PM
FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION "BURNT WEENY SANDWICH" (1970)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBRUcElxhJU

I can almost imagine a 1970-71 era Beach Boys performing the first track "WPLJ" as a token-weirdo track ala Okie From Muskogee or Student Demo Time. But the best track on this album in my opinion is the instrumental "Aybe Sea". So majestic and beautiful, really.

I love this album. Doesn't seem to get a lot of credit, but I think it's great. Whole album. The Igor stuff, the Holiday in Berlin stuff, the whole damn album. Fantastic.
69  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The fact Mike has admitted to reading this board on: January 18, 2015, 03:50:45 PM
I would hope the idea that Mike might read the board doesn't change how anyone posts.

And I would hope that--in addition to Mike laughing at us--anyone here with half a brain laughs at us.
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Who Are You to Criticize? on: January 18, 2015, 10:56:58 AM
Well jeez, I wasn't nominating it for a Pulitzer!  Grin
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Who Are You to Criticize? on: January 18, 2015, 09:26:19 AM
This morning I came across this essay about experts' criticisms of non-experts' criticism. (Got that?) It was published a few weeks ago in the LA Review of Books. I'd say its ideas are relevant to several forums here.

http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/virtues-know-nothing-criticism
72  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The Best Obscure Records on: January 18, 2015, 08:26:56 AM
Of course I love my little-known favorites just as much as anyone. And so I offer up Future Clouds & Radar's self-titled debut. You might know the bandleader Robert Harrison's previous band, Cotton Mather, whose KonTiki is really well regarded in certain circles. In the mid '00s, he launched FC&R with a double album. Very enjoyable. You could make one Cotton Mather out of it, with a lot of stuff that doesn't fit that model as well.

There's plenty on youtube. You can find it. It's easy.

73  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The return of the "What are you listening to now?" thread on: January 18, 2015, 08:00:51 AM
Listening to some CDs off the shelves--which is a rarity for me, as I usually am just going from my iTunes or streaming something these days--and being overwhelmed by the sense that I'll never have enough time in my life to listen enough to both what I already own in addition to what continues to be released going forward. The three albums I had running while working this morning were:

Eels - Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. If asked, I've always said this was one of his best. But I still never listen to it. Fine album. Really good.
Merle Haggard - Mama Tried. Merle Haggard doesn't need me to tell him he's great.
God Help the Girl - S/T. Not the best album ever, but it's really pleasant for those of us who lean toward musicals anyway. And the best of its songs are some of my favorites from the past 10 years.

Anyway, yeah. Music is cool. FYI.
74  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2015 New Releases on: January 18, 2015, 07:53:10 AM
I started listening to the Panda Bear album the other day, but time constraints kept me to just a few of the first songs. I'll get back to it. Probably.

(Work is being an asshole. If it didn't pay my bills, I'd punch it in the face. Well, if it didn't pay my bills and if it had a face, I'd punch it in the face.)
75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The Best Obscure Records on: January 18, 2015, 07:51:41 AM
Not an obscure record, but a thought about them: will they, as we know them, disappear going forward? After all, mostly gone are the days of a record being obscure because only X,000 of them were ever pressed and distributed. One digital file online pretty much means anything is available to anyone forever. It brings a different type of obscurity, which is being just one among the bafuckingzillion things out there to hear, but the days of scouring record stores and thrift shops might be over for those people who aren't seeking physical artifacts.

Of course a lot of--most of?--the music that is obscure sucks anyway, so that's ok. Nobody wants to be around modern-day musical Mithraists.
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