Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums
rockaction

Bob Dylan, Tangentials, and Eephus's Review Thread: Willie Nelson, Summer Standards, Composition And The Complexity of Still Waters Running Deep

Recommended Posts

Wherein we discover what T-Bone has been up to lately

The Invisible Light (Acoustic Space) - T-Bone Burnett (2019)

So what's all this then?  Let's ask Wikipedia

Quote

The album is an experimental departure from the roots rock that Burnett typically performs.[1] The electronic backing tracks include spoken word pieces on top, inspired by Beat poetry.[2] The album is the first in a planned trilogy[1] about technology and its impact on humanity.[3] The recordings accompany a 5,000-line poem that Burnett has been writing for years on the theme of humanity's ability to become deluded due to technology.[4] The original inspiration was a nightmare Burnett had decades prior where he was in an Episcopalian church and saw men in dark suits who were cutting off the right hands of the masses and inserting electronic tracking devices in their place. Around 2008, he was reminded of the dream with the proliferation of smartphones and began to write the poem to express his concerns about technology

:rolleyes:

The Invisible Light consists largely of spoken word pieces with Burnett's dark verse hovering over beats that are both mechanical and tribal.  Melodic lines drift in and out to break up T-Bone's incantations.  As you'd expect from a producer's vanity project, it sounds quality is sterling but it's not a easy listen.  I don't think it's a particularly good listen either but it's an interesting one, I'll grant you that.

The song selection is Being There with its haunting bandoneon riff.  T-Bone's chanting "be not afraid" is unusually positive for the album's lyrics but it still manages to sound creepy.  According to the YouTube comments he re-purposes words from one of the songs off the Alpha Band record I posted a few days ago.  I missed that when I listened to it but I think it's off track 1 of the earlier album.

It wasn't my intent but it turned out to be a pretty fitting album for Halloween.  Boz said hi to a dog wearing a pair of light up wings before wandering away.  The girls bought him a costume when he was younger but he wasn't having none of that.

Edited by Eephus
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's new release Friday

Travelin' Thru, 1967 - 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 (sampler) - Bob Dylan (2019)

The full album is three discs but Columbia posted an abridged version to the streaming service.  Conveniently for Bosley, it clocks in at 39 minutes which is just about how long we walk.

This entry in the Bootleg Series covers outtakes from the John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline sessions.  This period was probably the peak of Dylan's singing voice so there's that.  He plays around with the melodies of a couple of the songs, picks up the tempo of "I Am a Lonesome Hobo" and plays "To Be Alone with You" like an outtake from Blonde on Blonde.  The version of "Lay Lady Lay" doesn't have the percussion over the verse and has less reverb.  I couldn't come up with any obvious differences in "All Along the Watchtower" but I didn't do an A/B listen.

The highlights for most are duets with Johnny Cash.  I'm not a big fan of the "Girl from the North Country" on Nashville Skyline so I had my doubts going in but the tracks on Travelin' Thru are enjoyable.  Tonight's selection is their version of the rockabilly standard Matchbox because of the verse about little dogs and big dogs but "Big River" and "Guess Things Happen That Way" are also great.  Dylan sings high harmony on the chorus and switches off verses with Cash.  Truth be told, none of the tracks are absolutely essential but if you can't get excited about a rockabilly jam with Cash, Dylan and Carl Perkins, you don't love rock 'n roll.  The sampler also includes an outtake from the Earl Scruggs Family and Friends album that we listened to earlier.

The racoon made another guest appearance tonight but Bosley was inside at the time.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Eephus said:

It's new release Friday

Travelin' Thru, 1967 - 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 (sampler) - Bob Dylan (2019)

The highlights for most are duets with Johnny Cash.  I'm not a big fan of the "Girl from the North Country" on Nashville Skyline so I had my doubts going in but the tracks on Travelin' Thru are enjoyable.  Tonight's selection is their version of the rockabilly standard Matchbox because of the verse about little dogs and big dogs but "Big River" and "Guess Things Happen That Way" are also great.  Dylan sings high harmony on the chorus and switches off verses with Cash.  Truth be told, none of the tracks are absolutely essential but if you can't get excited about a rockabilly jam with Cash, Dylan and Carl Perkins, you don't love rock 'n roll.  The sampler also includes an outtake from the Earl Scruggs Family and Friends album that we listened to earlier.

Think I picked Big River in a music draft we did. If I'm not mistaken, there's a rollickin' version on one of the prison albums.  I would say a jam with Cash, Dylan, and Carl Perkins sounds good, too. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the double feature today Eep.

Well done.

Regarding the raccoon - I like the little bandits, Slappy does too.

Say, "Hi" to Bos. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

I really like the double feature today Eep.

Audiences would run screaming from the theater during the T-Bone Burnett album

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Audiences would run screaming from the theater during the T-Bone Burnett album

LOL

I must admit that I have only listened to Being There so far - but I dig the Beat-ish-ness of it. The name is also a win, as Being There (Peter Sellers) is right next to O Brother for me - eh - prolly ahead of it, honestly. I just didn't feel like registering here as "Chance the Gardener" - seemed like I would get odd requests about crap I know nothing about. Sorrow - I know that.

Of course, I accept that can cause panic in the streets as well. Eh - Beats & Sorrow - I guess.

sorry - my version of beat above --------------------

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/25/2019 at 9:51 PM, Eephus said:

God works in mysterious ways

Jesus Is King - Kanye West (2019)

The standout track for me is Water, a gorgeous vocal number that uses both the gospel singers and multitracked Autotuned vocals over a minimal synth line.  On the other hand, if you want something that sounds the most like classic Kanye, check out Follow God.

Quick review on my end. I can't help it. Kanye is fascinating to me. Really appreciate/love him.

This isn't vintage Kanye, as Eephus has alluded to. It's a mix of 808s And Heartbreak mixed with new age '80s gospel sounds. The album's brevity is an asset because the beats are quite new-agey jarring in a way. It sounds produced in the eighties, actually. That might just be my dilettante take on it.

Anyway, I really liked "Follow God" upon first listen for its derivation from this, and it kept me going through the album, which isn't vintage Kanye, but I've heard worse. He also got some gospel heavy hitters to perform with him. Fred Hammond is someone who has even crossed over to someone like myself, and I don't listen to much religious music at all. 

An aside, some lyrical criticism: Kanye's persecution complex on a Christian album seems inapt if we take him at his word that Jesus is his savior. Nobody suffered more to believers, and Jesus's forsaken self and the Passion pales in comparison to "Christians judging" him for doing a gospel album. Probably not a wise move to self-center one's self and take a moment to address critics, however wrong or misguided they might be. Surprised Hammond got in on that. 

But it's Kanye, so you know that's par for the course. The album picks up again after that song with "Use This Gospel," which is a fine song, IMHO.  If features No Malice from Clipse (he is also a born again Christian who shut down Clipse because he couldn't abide what they were rapping about - for them, he was named simply Malice). He carries the track. Good to hear him again.

I think this album is okay, strangely, upon first listen. I don't plan on delving too hard into it, but some of it is just good because Kanye, to me, is one of the more interesting recording artists of this century, now twenty years deep.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gotta admit that I know next to nothing about Kayne. I think he has escaped my radar because of some of the things you mention regarding his personality - but that's not really a good reason on my part. I dig lotsa artist's work even if they bug me in other ways. 

I should listen to some of his vintage stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

I should listen to some of his vintage stuff.

I think if you're disposed to like hip hop, then he's certainly somebody to listen to, yeah. He was very innovative in the aughts, and released four excellent albums. His personality and self-declarations of genius rubbed people the wrong way, but in retrospect, he wasn't really that bad. I mean, he violated celebrity awards show etiquette protocol and spoke off the cuff a bunch (sometimes politically), but there are far worse people in the world than self-centered Kanye, who I happen to like, actually. College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation will stand as one of the most important hip hop triads since the form was invented and recorded, which, as Eephus pointed out in a draft or some other music thread, wasn't really that long ago, actually. 

But yeah, his production and innovation merits a listen if you're interested. But again, you sort of have to like hip hop. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And don't get Ilov80s started about 808s and Heartbreak, his fifth. 

  • Laughing 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I think if you're disposed to like hip hop, then he's certainly somebody to listen to, yeah. He was very innovative in the aughts, and released four excellent albums. His personality and self-declarations of genius rubbed people the wrong way, but in retrospect, he wasn't really that bad. I mean, he violated celebrity awards show etiquette protocol and spoke off the cuff a bunch (sometimes politically), but there are far worse people in the world than self-centered Kanye, who I happen to like, actually. College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation will stand as one of the most important hip hop triads since the form was invented and recorded, which, as Eephus pointed out in a draft or some other music thread, wasn't really that long ago, actually. 

But yeah, his production and innovation merits a listen if you're interested. But again, you sort of have to like hip hop. 

I first got into hip hop before it was called that - I think. When Rapper's Delight hit the market in '80...

Quote

I said a hip hop
Hippie to the hippie
The hip, hip a hop, and you don't stop, a rock it out
Bubba to the bang bang boogie, boobie to the boogie…

... we went nuts over it. I spent the next few years break dancing to anything we could find in the "new" genre. I briefly switched over to metal and then found Hendrix in '85.

Jimi is still at the top, but my hip-hop knowin's fell off a cliff. When I tried to come back to it, things seemed way different, and it never took off for me. That was in the '90s - so, I never even gave the '00s a chance.

I dig into your rec's this week. Thnx.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

I first got into hip hop before it was called that - I think. When Rapper's Delight hit the market in '80...

... we went nuts over it. I spent the next few years break dancing to anything we could find in the "new" genre. I briefly switched over to metal and then found Hendrix in '85.

Jimi is still at the top, but my hip-hop knowin's fell off a cliff. When I tried to come back to it, things seemed way different, and it never took off for me. That was in the '90s - so, I never even gave the '00s a chance.

I dig into your rec's this week. Thnx.

Sure thing regarding the bolded. You and others definitely probably got into it and went nuts for it. It broke huge. 

As far as Kanye, a lot of Kanye's backpack-yet-commercial rap is a direct reaction to stuff that went on in the mid-nineties, so there's almost a dialectic working in the genre. You have Native Tongue's jazz beats on the East Coast in the early nineties, Hieroglyphics bop in the West in the early nineties, but that gives way to sort of commercialized gangster rap in the mid nineties on both coasts. Kanye brings the best of the production values of both eras to the fore (his sped up soul samples, he admits, were an idea/technique he stole from the RZA of Wu-Tang Clan from as far back as '93) while he brings a conflicted emcee persona, one torn between the sociopolitical consciousness of the independent backpack rap of the late nineties (itself a derivation of the backpack rap of the early nineties I mentioned) and combines that with the commercial longings, delights, and appeal of artists like Biggie Smalls and Snoop/Dre. It's one of those things that's so groundbreaking because of what came before it. He changed where the script was headed, and took the lead.

Edited by rockaction
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus Is King was OK but I can't think of circumstances that would provoke me to ever listen to it again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Jesus Is King was OK but I can't think of circumstances that would provoke me to ever listen to it again.

I'm with you. Not a bad record, not entirely worth revisiting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So time passed and so did some of the Wilburys until only Lefty and Otis were left to carry on.

From Out of Nowhere - Jeff Lynne's ELO (2019)

Another new release to appeal to boomers doing some holiday shopping.  Lynne's pact with the devil apparently had better terms and conditions than Dylan's--he's held up remarkably well and sounds almost exactly as he did in his heyday.  Technology has undoubtedly helped; Lynne handles all the vocals and instruments except for one piano solo by longtime ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy..

If you like classic ELO, you'll like this record.  The only difference I can hear is the lack of real strings on new one.  The songs are as loaded with hooks as you expect, although some of them harken back to earlier songs by ELO or the Beatles.  There's not a lot of lyrical depth but you never went to ELO for Lynne's deep thoughts.  There aren't any songs that are Dylanesque in the slightest so I'll pick the title track From Out of Nowhere.  It also opens the album because Jeff Lynne knows pop sequencing.

Bosley and I are planning to head down Johnny Cash Boulevard for the next few turns but this ELO record really brightened my mood tonight. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

@Ilov80s

Ooops!

I agree with everything Rock said. The 5th album, 808s & Heartbreaks, is certainly not his best album but it is incredibly important for the direction it takes mainstream hip hop. 

Edited by Ilov80s
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union

America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song - Johnny Cash (1972)

Cash got a four year jump on the Bicentennial with this concept album about the history of the USA.  He covers 197 years in only 33 minutes, pretty impressive even after giving up speed a few years early.  There are 21 tracks but half of them are spoken narration including a recitation of the Gettysburg Address.  It starts with Paul Revere but is most interested in the Westward expansion across the continent.  There are songs about the Battle of New Orleans, the Alamo and the massacre at Wounded Knee.  It's a pretty limited view of history but paints a mythical image of America. 

Cash's ambition here is enormous--it's as corny as you'd expect but it's actually pretty good.  The songs themselves are mostly simple acoustic settings without a lot of schmaltzy strings and choruses typical of Country music of the era. The best recurring narrator schtick is Cash intoning the name of each state as it enters the union.  E pluribus gravitas.

Tonight's history lesson is Mister Garfield, an Appalachian folk song about the assassination of James Garfield.  It's kind of like a talkin' blues with a spoken verse and a sung chorus.  It's probably the best song ever written about our 20th President.  Which reminds me of an excellent history book I read a few years ago Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard.  The rise of this remarkable man is contrasted with the descent of his assassin and it's topped off by shocking tales of 19th century medicine including Alexander Graham Bell's attempts at the first x-ray machine.  Highly recommended, more so than the album.

Mrs. Eephus is out of town to see the Bauhaus reunion concert in LA so the equilibrium of our household is disturbed.  Boz seems to be wandering around the house more than usual but that's what he does when he's not asleep.

Edited by Eephus
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seldom is an album title as fitting as this one

Boom Chicka Boom - Johnny Cash (1990)

This was the last album of new material Cash made for Mercury before his career renaissance on Rick Rubin's American Recordings label.  The approach the two albums took to Cash's music couldn't have been more different.  The American Recordings albums matched material to Cash's voice and legend and presented it in an understated manner.  This one takes Cash's signature boom chicka boom rhythm sound and pairs it with every type of song.  There are novelty songs, a cover of "Cats In the Cradle", a gospel song, a truck driving song, a song about water pollution and a song by Elvis Costello.  Every one of the ten tracks has that damned boom chicka boom going on.  You could listen to the instrumental tracks without the vocal tracks and still identify them as Johnny Cash songs.  I get the producer was just trying to find a hit and a lot of Cash's biggest songs had that boom chicka boom but they forget those songs were driven by Cash's incredible voice. 

It's still not bad.  Cash couldn't make a terrible record.  The Costello song is interesting but has too many words.  The rags to riches to rags story of "Harley" is an update of a classic Cash working man song.   The song about Monteagle Mountain will ring true to anyone who's ever driven south on I-24.  The boom chicka boom grew monotonous after a while and left me pining for another version of the Gettysburg Address.

Tonight's selection is a fun one A Backstage Pass.   It's a Cash original that opens the album with "There were wackos and weirdos and dingbats and dodos and athletes and movie stars and David Allan Coe.  There was leather and lace and every minority race with a backstage pass to the Willie Nelson Show".  Then the boom chicka boom kicks in. 

I can hear Boz wandering around in the next room.  It's when you can't hear him that you have to worry about him being stuck somewhere.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/3/2019 at 1:16 AM, Eephus said:

So time passed and so did some of the Wilburys until only Lefty and Otis were left to carry on.

From Out of Nowhere - Jeff Lynne's ELO (2019)

Another new release to appeal to boomers doing some holiday shopping.  Lynne's pact with the devil apparently had better terms and conditions than Dylan's--he's held up remarkably well and sounds almost exactly as he did in his heyday.  Technology has undoubtedly helped; Lynne handles all the vocals and instruments except for one piano solo by longtime ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy..

If you like classic ELO, you'll like this record.  The only difference I can hear is the lack of real strings on new one.  The songs are as loaded with hooks as you expect, although some of them harken back to earlier songs by ELO or the Beatles.  There's not a lot of lyrical depth but you never went to ELO for Lynne's deep thoughts.  There aren't any songs that are Dylanesque in the slightest so I'll pick the title track From Out of Nowhere.  It also opens the album because Jeff Lynne knows pop sequencing.

Bosley and I are planning to head down Johnny Cash Boulevard for the next few turns but this ELO record really brightened my mood tonight. 

Great timing on this. Lynne appeared on CBS Sunday Morning a few hours after your review.

I have been a fan since ... ? ... as long as I can remember. ELO was never my top band, but I like almost all of their music. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Great timing on this. Lynne appeared on CBS Sunday Morning a few hours after your review.

I have been a fan since ... ? ... as long as I can remember. ELO was never my top band, but I like almost all of their music. 

If you like ELO, you'd probably like Alpacas Orgling by LEO (and who doesn't like orgling alpacas :shrug: )

It's a one-off 2006 project with original songs from Boston musician Bleu.  It obviously pays homage to ELO but transcends imitation to stand alone as a great album.  It's probably better than Lynne's latest record but don't tell him I said so.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Eephus said:

If you like ELO, you'd probably like Alpacas Orgling by LEO (and who doesn't like orgling alpacas :shrug: )

It's a one-off 2006 project with original songs from Boston musician Bleu.  It obviously pays homage to ELO but transcends imitation to stand alone as a great album.  It's probably better than Lynne's latest record but don't tell him I said so.

 

Great recommendation..thanks for sharing👍🏼

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fathers and daughters

The List- Rosanne Cash (2009)

I realized last week that I hadn't listened to a female artist since Joan Baez at the end of September.   The thread schtick makes this difficult since I believe the only women Dylan recorded with were backup singers except for Scarlet Rivera.  This week's Johnny Cash tangent brings Rosanne into play and to top it off, there's a Dylan connection as well.

The List has its origins when Rosanne accompanied Johnny on tour after she graduated from high school.  She had grown up with her mother in California and didn't know about Country music history so Johnny made her a list of 100 essential country songs.  This is near and dear to my heart because I've been making playlists for my daughter since she was a teenager. 

Johnny Cash knew songs and could always pick material.  So the songs here are all classics.  Given the nature of the concept, Rosanne approaches the material with reverence, perhaps a little too much in some cases.  There's also the issue of guest stars.  Springsteen, Costello (again), Tweedy and Wainwright (Rufus) all make appearances but don't add a lot to the festivities.  But I'm nitpicking again, it's a fine record that's a fitting tribute to Country music and her father.  Rosanne's voice is an expressive instrument that makes the listener believe the tales of longing and loss that make up most of the album.  The arrangements are lovely and steer clear of adult contemporary cliches for the most part.

There's one Dylan cover ("Girl from the North Country") and a couple of songs written by others that he's performed.  One of the latter, Motherless Children is tonight's selection.  It's a folk blues (different from "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child") that was recorded by the Carter Family and many others.  Rosanne's version is one of the few times on the album where she and the band cut loose, culminating in an electric guitar solo that plays the tune off.

Boz is fine.  Mrs. Eephus just got back.  All is right with the world.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, neal cassady said:

Great recommendation..thanks for sharing👍🏼

Ditto from me.

10 hours ago, Eephus said:

If you like ELO, you'd probably like Alpacas Orgling by LEO (and who doesn't like orgling alpacas :shrug: )

I listened to the album twice after I finished Let the Right One In for the movie club. (Depressed the H outta me.)

It has lifted my spirits greatly - just as Lynne did for you.

I'll check out Rosanne tomorrow.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little Love Letters - Carlene Carter (1993)

Carlene Carter and Rosanne Cash became sisters when they both were thirteen.  Carlene was the daughter of June Carter and rockabilly pioneer Carl Smith.  In her public careers, Carlene has always been wilder and more rock 'n roll than her step-sister.  I'm very familiar with Carter's early albums recorded with The Rumour and Rockpile when she was married to Nick Lowe but I don't believe I've ever listened to this one before.

There's a Dylan connection as well.  The album was produced by Carter's then boyfriend Howie Epstein, bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  Dylan toured with the Heartbreakers as his backing band in 1986--it sounds a whole lot better than Empire Burlesque.  Carter and Epstein never married but they were a couple for fifteen years that ended shortly before Epstein's heroin overdose.  Every junkie's death makes me sad but I feel a bit of a connection to my Milwaukee homeboy Epstein.  He played in a bunch of local bands I'd heard about but I was stuck on the South side without a car.  Playing with the Heartbreakers was a dream gig for any musician but drugs destroyed it, his relationship and his life.  Carter has led a life cut out of a country song as well.

Oh well, back to the album.  It's really good--I prefer it to Rosanne's record from yesterday.  Carter is equally adept with ballads and more up tempo songs.  She doesn't have a great voice; there's a distinct switch to falsetto in her upper register but she's a direct descendant of Mother Maybelle and you can't get much closer to American music royalty than that.  She wrote all of the songs with a variety of collaborators including Epstein, Benmont Tench, Bernie Taupin, Radney Foster and Al Anderson from NRBQ.  The record has a bright sound that's characteristic of the period but Epstein's production doesn't drown the singer or the song. 

There are lots of good songs to choose from including a couple of solid rockers "Every Little Thing" and "Wastin' Time With You".  I went with a sad ballad Long Hard Fall, co-written with Epstein, that uses the homonym of "fall" to good effect.  As much as I love Carlene's Rockpile collaboration Musical Shapes, I think Little Love Letters is a better album front to back.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finishing off Cash week with the future Mrs. Cash

Carryin' On with Johnny Cash and June Carter - Johnny Cash and June Carter (1967)

Johnny and June were an item already when this record came out but they were waiting for Cash's divorce to be finalized before remarrying.  It's a famous love story that ended better than most Nashville marriages did.  Carter and Jesus probably saved Cash's life but I believe he was still using when this album was recorded.

I'm sad to say it's not a very good album.  The highlight is "Jackson" which is a great comedic duet that deserves to have been played a million times over the years.  I'd love to sing this at karaoke but it would require some rehearsing to work out the parts with Mrs. Eephus .  Neither of us is that committed to the schtick.  Aside from "Jackson" and the similar "Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man", the material is mostly lacking.  There's a Dylan cover but unfortunately it's a clunker.  The Turtles' version of "It Ain't Me Babe" is superior to Cash & Carter.  For a couple that had such great offstage chemistry, their voices don't harmonize particularly well.  There's so much distance between their vocal range, sometimes two octaves, that they don't blend into one.

I haven't picked any intentionally bad songs in this thread until tonight.  Johnny and June's massacre of Ray Charles What'd I Say is wrong in every way, beginning with the decision to make it a duet.  June is relatively convincing with her lines, only because Cash is so horrible.  Boz and I were walking back on Octavia when this one came on; I started laughing with Johnny's first "Alright" and couldn't stop.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Eephus said:

I haven't picked any intentionally bad songs in this thread until tonight.  Johnny and June's massacre of Ray Charles What'd I Say is wrong in every way, beginning with the decision to make it a duet.  June is relatively convincing with her lines, only because Cash is so horrible.  Boz and I were walking back on Octavia when this one came on; I started laughing with Johnny's first "Alright" and couldn't stop.

As a big fan of both Ray and John ... 🤣

Hey Hey Alriiiight!

This is only 2nd song I've listened to today; and I am pretty confident it will not be topped! 

In fact, I think that I am now gonna create a new playlist for songs "so bad they are awesome "- this is my #1. 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new Van Morrison album Three Chords and the Truth is up on the streaming platforms after a two week quarantine

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you listen to Johnny Cash for a week, the Spotify algorithm takes notice.  It suggested a  soundtrack album by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready to a new documentary about Cash. 

The trailer for "The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash" looks pretty good.  It's available to stream if you have YouTube Premium (which I don't).   The album consists of snippets of dialog from the film on top of McCready's guitar atmospherics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Eephus said:

The new Van Morrison album Three Chords and the Truth is up on the streaming platforms after a two week quarantine

Just finished this. I enjoyed it much. 

You Don't Understand really struck home with me. 

So much so, that I went straight back to Ray - I Believe to My Soul😎

 

On 11/8/2019 at 9:52 AM, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

In fact, I think that I am now gonna create a new playlist for songs "so bad they are awesome " - this is my #1

I now have a #2.

I posted this in K's Beatles thread & shuke's 1000+ already, but it has to be #2.

 

Chuck Berry & John Lennon (1972) on the Mike Douglas Show.

I began to realize what a gem performance this was at the 1:56 mark. Chuck's expression is priceless, however he is able to get back into form quickly, performing a nice solo with a forward & backward Duckwalk. 

By 2:54, they have already turned off Yoko's mic - or perhaps she was just silently practicing her next lines. I'm really not sure, but the optics are great either way.

3:11 - oops - someone turned Yoko's mic back on. Eh, maybe it was the practice thing after all. Regardless, Chuck holds it together with some more Duckwalkin'; including a very nice circular/arcing redirection.

3:53 - Nice finish. It looks as if they decided to cut Yoko's mic once again; mid-closing-shriek. Or maybe she just lost her voice momentarily.

On its own, this song is not deserving of #2. Luckily, there is a 2nd set - Johnny B Good - which pushes this baby over the top.

Things start off ominously, as John appears to have some difficulty with his wires. Thus, he emulates Chuck by attempting to Duckwalk out of the problem at 4:26. #Fail. In fairness, it may not have been a Duckwalk; a fleeting body spasm is possible. I dunno ... I'll think more on it.

Pushing forward, Chuck lets-er rip at 4:37. Like any good horror flick, things seems to straighten out fer a while - just to set ya up for the strike ... 5:33 Yoko grabs the mic; urgently; as if she has missed her beat. Gets it to her mouth. Opens mouth ............ is mic on? Is she silently practicing again?

5:57 - 6:02 - Yoko's mouth is still movin', but I hear nuttin. Is this the plan? Who's plan? I rather like this plan, tbh.

6:08 - Critical moment. Chuck hands the spotlight over to John; exclaims, "Go John!"; and strikes a Squatting Duck Stance to get a close up view of John's coming solo ...

6:11 - Chuck holds the Squatting Duck as John lets loose. John wails, however, John's guitar is barely audible through out the entire solo. That "wire issue" from the beginning is now paying off in spades. Hard work and preparation are the key, imho.

So, where does it go after that? Duckwalk! Yeah.

6:43 - Crowd going crazy. Success.

6:52 - Yoko is .... eh - I'll let you figure it out this time. I'm outta ideas.

 

I may have to cross post this in the Greatest Performance thread, but I am afraid that it would be an "insta-win". I don't like that kinda over dominance in anything; so, maybe I'll just leave it here.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally enjoyed the Berry/Lennon numbers.  The moment when Yoko starts screeching during "Memphis Tennessee" is :moneybag:

Berry made a career out of tormenting pickup bands with unrehearsed changes so it's good to see Yoko turn the tables on him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Eephus said:

Berry made a career out of tormenting pickup bands with unrehearsed changes so it's good to see Yoko turn the tables on him.

Hah. After learning this, I may need to move it up to #1. Karma and all that ...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and now for something very similar

Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian - Johnny Cash (1964)

Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited - Various Artists (2014)

Bitter Tears was Cash's second album after signing to Columbia.  His first record I Walk the Line was a big hit which gave Cash the leverage to record a concept album with songs about American Indians.  This would have been a courageous non-commercial decision at any time but particularly for early 60s Nashville.  Cash wrote three songs himself with the balance coming from folk singer Peter La Farge, who had been a mentor for Dylan when he first arrived from Minnesota.  La Farge claimed Native ancestry but was actually the child of a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and his heiress wife.

Some of the lyrics are awkward from the perspective of 2019 which is exacerbated by very dated sounding production with tons of reverb, close harmony backing choirs and a fair amount of boom chicka boom going on.  It's a testament to Cash's greatness that he can cut through all this and make most of the songs work.  It's probably a more important album than a great one but I'm glad I listened to it.

Look Again to the Wind is a track-for-track tribute to Cash's record.  It was produced by Joe Henry and features a strong collection of guest artists including Emmylou, Steve Earle, Kris Kris Kristofferson and Rhiannon Giddens.  It sounds like they kept the same backing musicians for the whole album so it's a more cohesive affair than the typical tribute record.  The arrangements are for an acoustic string band which is probably what Cash should have done 50 years earlier.  They do tend to slow down and stretch out the songs a little so it clocks in longer than Cash's original.  The singers don't try to imitate the inimitable Cash but bring their own style to the songs.  I think the lyrics work better in these quieter, lower-key settings but maybe that's just my modern sensibilities.

Two song selections today, one from each album.  Cash's hit single The Ballad of Ira Hayes is well known but I'm picking it for Veteran's Day.  It's La Farge's telling of the story of a Pima Native American who helped raise the flag on Mount Surabachi.  The flute playing Taps is corny as all get out but the song is still powerful.  The other track is Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' gorgeous rendition of As Long As the Grass Shall Grow, a song about the Seneca's displacement by the construction of the Kinzua dam.  It's over nine minutes long (three minutes longer than Cash's version) but it held my interest throughout.

Boz woke me up to go pee around 4AM the other morning.  Usually I just let him out on the back porch and he does his business and turns around.  But this time he was really unsteady, falling a couple of times while he circled around.  His random wandering was bringing him close to the top of the stairs down to the yard so I had to run out and grab him before he toppled down to the yard.  The problem was I wasn't wearing any clothes.  It's times like these that make me wonder why we aren't cat people instead.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a good documentary on PBS not too long ago = WE'RE STILL HERE: JOHNNY CASH'S BITTER TEARS REVISITED (54')

However, the only vids I can now find are for local stations that require a login = SoCal PBS

I liked it much. I'll see if I can find it somewhere else for free.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A footnote to a footnote...

Carolyn Hester - Carolyn Hester (1961)

Folk music isn't given much respect in the history of American Pop music.  Its peak happened during the musical backwater between Elvis joining the Army and the arrival of the Beatles.  It was a sub-culture on campuses and in cities that reached the Top 40 but didn't dominate it.  Where contemporary forms like Motown, the Wall of Sound and Surf are remembered today, you rarely hear early 60s folk music.  It was a much bigger scene than the Beatniks were but history has subsumed folk.

Carolyn Hester was a folk singer who crossed paths with a lot of better known musicians.  She was married to Richard Farina and turned down an offer to join Peter and Paul before Mary.  On this album, she gave Dylan his first professional recording session playing harmonica on three songs.  Hester sings a collection of traditional folk numbers in her warbly soprano.  Her voice is similar and not objectively worse than Joan Baez or Judy Collins but due to luck or some je ne sais quoi, Hester never achieved their level of fame.  It's a solid record with nice acoustic arrangements.

Tonight's song selection is called Swing and Turn Jubilee.  It's one of the numbers that Dylan guests on.  The song is more hillbilly sounding than anything else on the record.  If you click the link, you can see a still photo showing why Dylan described Hester as a "double barreled beauty" in his autobiography.  Dylan himself is impossibly young in the picture.  On the left is guitarist Bruce Langhorne who inspired "Mr. Tambourine Man" and on the right is Spike Lee's dad Bill.  Every picture tells a story, don't it?

Boz was put off schedule by overtime in the football game.  I put my shoes on a grabbed the leash and my headphones near the end of regulation.  I should have gone for the walk then but I was invested in the game.  By the time the Seahawks kicked the game winner, Boz had taken a leak in front of the door.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked into the FFA just to see if this thread was updated. This has become a later-night West Coast ritual for me, much like your nightly walk with Boz. Cool stuff.

eta* What a picture! They're all so impossibly young. 

And nice touch with the briefest of intros to the history of folk in America.

Edited by rockaction
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, rockaction said:

And nice touch with the briefest of intros to the history of folk in America.

I think I'm going to listen to some more folkie stuff this week.  I've been a voracious listener for four decades so I don't have many musical frontiers but early 60s folk is one genre that I've never really listened to. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention Hester is still performing at the age of 82.  She and her daughters had a few gigs listed on her website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rockaction said:

eta* What a picture! They're all so impossibly young. 

I'm a hat guy. I need one like Dylan's in that pic. 👍

 

17 hours ago, Eephus said:

I think I'm going to listen to some more folkie stuff this week.  I've been a voracious listener for four decades so I don't have many musical frontiers but early 60s folk is one genre that I've never really listened to. 

Good listen. I know little to nothing of new country, but old country, blue grass and folk are all genres I dig to some degree.

I look forward to some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day two on the folk music trail

Odetta Sings Dylan - Odetta (1965)

Odetta's huge expressive voice was one of folk music's most important and vital.  Her 1958 album “Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues" converted 17 year old Dylan from rock 'n roll to folk music (for a while).  Folk music was the unofficial soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement and Odetta was active in both.  She performed at the March on Washington and marched in Selma.

This is one of the first Dylan cover albums.  By 1965, Dylan had a strong songbook to choose from.  Odetta's deep alto brings a more stentorian quality to Dylan's music.  The protest songs become more spiritual and the blues become blusier.  The acoustic arrangements are damn near perfect for the songs.  The backing tracks are very similar to Dylan's albums of the period and have aged much better than the more elaborate productions that Johnny Cash had to deal with.  A couple of songs are taken too slowly for my liking, especially a leaden version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" but it's a solid record that holds up well today.

I had a vague memory of going with my family to see her sing with the Milwaukee Symphony at the old Auditorium.  So I googled it and it turns out it happened in 1969.  My folks weren't big classical music people but we did go to some Pops concerts.  Other than the occasional song on a documentary soundtrack, I haven't listened to Odetta since then.

The song selection is Baby I'm In the Mood a song Dylan wrote in 1962 but didn't get released until The Bootleg Series.  The Odetta album is generally serious and sometimes preachy but on this song, she shows her swinging soulful side.

Nothing much new on the Bosley front.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10/10/19 - Not Dark Yet

A friend saw Dylan last month and immediately spread the word that something's going on and that Dylan has kind of broken out of his rut live. And his relatively strong voice suggests he may have quit smoking. Anyway, this is really good. And for the first time since MSG in 2003 I thinking of going to see him.

Edited by Apple Jack
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My social media team messaged today to tell me that this folk music tangent is killing the thread's engagement metrics.  They said something about pre-boomers who listened to folk in the early 60s not being Internet users.  But art trumps analytics so we press on regardless.

The Best of the Decca Years - The Weavers (recorded 1950-52, released as compilation 1996)

The Weavers helped to popularize folk music in the post-WWII years, topping the Pop charts with singles from this collection.  Their career came crashing to a halt in 1952 when they were blacklisted due to alleged Communist Party membership of Lee Hays and Pete Seeger.  Decca dropped the group when they were called before the HUAC and they had problems getting concert bookings.   These sides pre-dated the blacklist but there's no sign of fifth column activities or fascist killing guitars to be seen.  Their music is extremely tame to modern ears, owing more to Broadway musicals than ethnomusicologists recording hill folk on their porch.

The records retain a naive charm though the decades.  The voices of Seeger, Hays, Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert blend together well on the choruses as they trade off on verses that are alternately humorous and touching.  At first, the arrangements were a distracting fit with the folk songs but I grew accustomed to the strings and winds.  Most of the songs are familiar and those that aren't are so simple that you know them by the end.  There are early versions of tunes that became "Sloop John B" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in the hands of other artists.  Most of the songs on the album are more up tempo but tonight I'm picking Goodnight Irene a waltz that was a #1 hit in 1950.  The orchestral chart is by the great Gordon Jenkins who is my favorite of Sinatra's many arrangers.

Old dogs have good days and not so good ones.  Today was one of the latter.  Boz was very lethargic and confused in the house even though he ate well and kept a decent pace on his walks.  I've learned to not get too excited about it because he doesn't seem to.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Eephus said:

My social media team messaged today to tell me that this folk music tangent is killing the thread's engagement metrics.  They said something about pre-boomers who listened to folk in the early 60s not being Internet users.  But art trumps analytics so we press on regardless.

Tell your team (Bosley) they need to continue to allow creative license. 

15 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Old dogs have good days and not so good ones.  Today was one of the latter.  Boz was very lethargic and confused in the house even though he ate well and kept a decent pace on his walks.  I've learned to not get too excited about it because he doesn't seem to.

And give him my best.

 

7 Sam is beginning - so, I'll check the rest later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

 

How did Bosley let you not pick this one as your "feature"? 🐶

John B was a nice surprise too.

It was a tough call to pick a Weavers song.  I had to pass on two train songs, "Rock Island Line" and "Midnight Special".  The latter was probably the most political on the record with its verses about how inmates found their way to prison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an addition to my "so bad it is good" playlist. (This is entry #3, but, at this point, I am not trying to list them in any specific order.)

I chose a track that appears on A Florence Foster Jenkins Recital. FFJ is a rare talent, but my selection is actually not her.

From the YouTube page:

Quote

Just to be clear, this is not Florence Foster Jenkins. There were four other tracks added to this recording to fill it out, of some amateur singers doing Faust excerpts. This is one of those, with Thomas Burns and Jenny Williams doing the famous final trio as a duet. It's almost the same quality of singing as Madame Jenkins, however! I find it particularly apt when he sings "Oh, what torture!"

I am strangely attracted to this performance and have listened to it a few times today. I believe that it gets better each time.

With that, I present the Final Trio from Faust, an opera by french composer Charles Gounod: 

YouTube

Spotify

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An Historic Reunion - Sara and Maybelle, The Original Carters (1966)

The Carter Family was one of the seminal acts in American music but they broke up in the early 40s before LPs were a thing.  The reason for the breakup was Sara took off with AP's cousin but that's another story.  Mother Maybelle went on performing with her daughters but she didn't sing with her cousin Sara until the folk craze of the early 60s.  Thankfully,  they were able to capture this reunion on record. 

I haven't listened to much of the Carter Family's stuff but I always assumed it was AP singing lead.  It sounded like a man to me while in fact it was Sara.  The songs here follow a familiar pattern, Sara sings the verses in her deep pure voice and Maybelle joins in with harmony on the choruses.   Sara was 68 and Maybelle was 57 at the time so they both still had their pipes but they also had a lifetime of experience to draw upon.  Pipes is probably a bad word to use because their vocals sound like they grew out from the earth.

It's a magnificent album.  The sound quality is excellent  the Columbia engineers in Nashville were top class.  There's a perfect simplicity to the guitar and autoharp accompaniment.  I don't know if this was Mother Maybelle overdubbed or if there was a second guitarist but whatever it is, it's perfect.  There's so much good here it's hard to choose one but here's Happiest Days of All with its ringing autoharp solos.

I'm not much for ranking stuff but this was definitely the find of folk week.  I have to say I enjoyed discovering a few folk records I'd never had occasion to listen to before.  It's a rich genre but one from a environment that's totally alien to my own.  Their voices are lost in the past.

It was a little California chilly tonight although I was still wearing shorts.  Boz lingered longer when we passed by the restaurants with heated sidewalk tables.  I assume he can feel the temperature change even though he can't see what's right in front of him.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey!!! It's new release Friday again.

The Band - The Band (1969, Remixed 2019)

I try to  be nondoctrinaire when it comes to remixes and remasters of classic albums.  Most don't make much of an impression because the changes aren't significant.  I thought the Zeppelin remasters were an improvement but hated the Exile on Main Street remix.  On the plus side, the Steven Wilson remixes of Yes are spectacular and the recent Matt Wallace mix of the Replacements was a revelation.  And then there's this one.

Bob Clearmountain's remix is more than just a little cleanup.  Where there was kind of a musical gumbo before, there's now a lot of separation between instruments.  The drums and Garth's keyboards seem to be the main beneficiaries.  I guess it's a technically a better sounding album, particularly with headphones but it definitely loses something for me. The original album sounded like a bunch of guys playing in the same room which no longer holds true on the remix.

But the treasure of the Deluxe Edition of the Brown album is buried in tracks 19-29.  It's a live recording of their performance at Woodstock.  They went on Sunday night between Ten Years After and Johnny Winter.  The concert happened a month before release of this album so the Band's setlist was limited to their first album, a couple of songs from The Basement Tapes and two R&B covers.  The Woodstock masters were recorded excellently for a festival of that era.  The band sounds more like the young hippies from The Basement Tapes than the world weary classicists of The Last Waltz.  Richard Manuel is in particularly fine voice.  There are a flubbed notes and shaky harmonies but the spirit of the day carries them through.  The standout for me was This Wheel's On Fire but the whole thing is worth a listen if you love The Band.  I didn't miss the horn sections from Rock of Ages and The Last Waltz one bit.

We've been letting Boz sleep in the bed with us to cut down on his nocturnal wanderings.  It had been working pretty well until this morning.  Mrs. Eephus got up first to make coffee and Boz must have felt her wake up.  I was awakened to a thud as Bosley fell off the bed onto the floor.  As he lay there on his side with his usual blank expression, he peed all over himself.  Oh well, he needed a bath anyways.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.