Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day Thirty-Two [Belated]: Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

EMI ■ KAB1/EJ 24 0384 1

Released September 16, 1985
Produced by Kate Bush
Engineered by Del Palmer, Haydn Bendall, Brian Tench, Paul Hardiman, Nigel Walker, James Guthrie, Bill Somerville-Large
Mixed by Brian Tench
("Hounds of Love" and "Mother Stands for Comfort" mixed by Julian Mendelsohn)

Hounds of Love (Side One):The Ninth Wave (Side Two):
  1. Running up That Hill (A Deal with God)
  2. Hounds of Love
  3. The Big Sky
  4. Mother Stands for Comfort
  5. Cloudbusting
  1. And Dream of Sheep
  2. Under Ice
  3. Waking the Witch
  4. Watching You Without Me
  5. Jig of Life
  6. Hello Earth
  7. The Morning Fog

With an opening note: Most reading this shortly after writing are already aware, but this entry was delayed (checking the posting dates and times will confirm this for anyone else). I apologize for the delay and can only do exactly that, really. I didn't want to listen to this album or write about it while half asleep, as that would basically define the experience and render the whole point of doing either moot. It could have interesting effects, certainly, on my perception, but I can't imagine many but the most esoteric (and vaguely pretentious) would actually aim for half-asleep listening to their work. Of course, esoteric isn't really unfair in this case, but...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day Thirty-One: Burning Airlines - Identikit

Arctic Rodeo Recordings ■ ARR044

Released May 8, 2001¹
Recorded by John Agnello with Jake Mossman; J. Robbins and Burning airlines
Mixed by John Agnello with J. Robbins, Mike Harbin, and Peter Moffett
Mastered by Alan douches
¹This expanded vinyl released 11/16/2012

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Outside the Aviary
  2. Morricone Dancehall
  3. A Lexicon
  4. The Deluxe War Baby
  5. A Song with No Words
  6. All Sincerity
  7. The Surgeon's House
  8. Everything Here Is New
  1. Paper Crowns
  2. Blind Trial
  3. Identikit
  4. Tastykake
  5. Earthbound
  6. Election-Night Special
  7. Dear Hilary
  8. Action
Track listing note: many of the tracks are shuffled from their listed order, but the above is the order in which they actually play. "The Deluxe War Baby" is shifted to its place above from being listed between "The Surgeon's House" and "Everything Here Is New". "Election-Night Special" is listed between "Identikit" and "Tastykake". The lyrics are also printed in this written order, not the order in which they play.

Out of all the polls I've run, I had a feeling (much like I suspected March on Electric Children would be the least acknowledged entry so far) Burning Airlines would be the most "difficult" vote to squeeze out. I pushed pretty hard on the Boomtown Rats, but I sort of gave up with Burning Airlines. Most people I know are in the wrong music generation (regardless of their actual age) and/or scene to know Burning Airlines, and I know that is the one thing that really makes people reluctant to throw out a vote. I decided to get around this in a sneaky and vaguely ridiculous way: I actually asked J. Robbins (check those credits up top) and Peter Moffett if there was an album they'd prefer me to write on. Mr. Robbins's been nothing but kind with my intermittent fawning and questions, and said very nice things about my writing on his previous band, Jawbox. On this he suggested I flip a coin to pick the album, and that he'd be happy I was writing about either, which I can understand and respect--there's going to be plenty tied up in these for someone involved. I asked Mr. Moffett a bit more privately, and didn't even catch the first notification that he'd actually answered. The response was just a single word: Identikit. It was a relief, in a way; a singular vote from another fan that wandered into my question to J. and voted for Mission: Control! which would have stuck me with another tie and, well, another coin toss, actually. I wanted to have something fresh and different to break this one up, though, and so Mr. Moffett gets a gracious thanks for taking the time to answer me and break the tie--even if it was before there was a tie!

Day Thirty: Lindsey Buckingham - Gift of Screws

Reprise Records ■ 512970-1

Released September 16, 2008
Produced and Mixed by Lindsey Buckingham
("Gift of Screws" and "Wait for You" co-produced by Rob Cavallo; "Wait for You" mixed by Mark Needham
Engineered by Lindsey Buckingham, Ken Allardyce, and Mark Needham
Mastered by Bernie Grundman/Bernie Grundman Mastering

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Great Day
  2. Time Precious Time
  3. Did You Miss Me
  4. Wait for You
  5. Love Runs Deeper
  1. Bel Air Rain
  2. The Right Place to Fade
  3. Gift of Screws
  4. Underground
  5. Treason
I'm a bit conflicted here. In a few weeks or months, we'll run into Fleetwood Mac proper. We won't see any Green or any Welch (I have none of the former, as I haven't gotten around to it, and only a CD of the latter), and so the focus will, obviously, be Buckingham/Nicks-era Fleetwood. The focal point will be for me (as ever), Buckingham. So, then: do I address my thoughts on Lindsey's musical place in my world now, or save it for then? How could I split it, were I to do both? Should I just give in and repeat information, but write it differently when I get there? I'm honestly not sure. I think the best approach is to go ahead and provide the background that establishes why I even have this album, which ties into all of that. So, pardon me for a moment while I briefly delve into my interactions with the last era of Fleetwood Mac.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day Twenty-Nine: Brother Ali - Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color

Rhymesayers Entertainment ■ RSE0152-1

Released September 18, 2012
Produced by Jake One

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Letter to My Countrymen
  2. Only Life I Know
  3. Stop the Press
  1. Mourning in America
  2. Gather Round
  3. Work Everyday
Side Three:Side Four:
  1. Need a Knot
  2. Won More Hit
  3. Say Amen
  4. Fajr
  1. Namesake
  2. All You Need
  3. My Beloved
  4. Singing This Song
While the big names like the Beach Boys and the Beatles inspired the conversation my father and I had about "alphabetical imbalance" in music collections, I have no good explanation for the imbalance in my rap. I know it's something less than a favourite genre for a number of people I know (including the above person), but this is almost it for quite a while--and then almost it for good. Electronic music is "worse"--I've got three more of those in my entire collection. In any case, we've had a semi-glut of late, and I'm not going to apologize for any of those, but I do understand the fact that for many that's not going to be the most interesting part of all of this. Still, this is my collection, and I went with alphabetical order to avoid any deliberate weight being placed on any genre, artists, or anything else. I feel like this still sounds vaguely apologetic, which I guess it still is, in a way, but the reality is, this shouldn't be taken as yet another album to skip for the unfamiliar or those who feel they do not like rap (to whom I always say, as I do with comic books, metal, electronic music, silent movies and various other niche genres--"You haven't read/heard/seen all of them. It's a medium, and a style, and there's a lot of variation within, and a lot to take out of them").

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day Twenty-Eight: Bronski Beat - The Age of Consent

Columbia Records ■ PC 37062

Released December, 1984
Produced by Mike Thorne

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Why?
  2. It Ain't Necessarily So
  3. Screaming
  4. No More War
  5. Love and Money
  1. Smalltown Boy
  2. Heatwave
  3. Junk
  4. Need a Man Blues
  5. I Feel Love/Johnny Remember Me
I stumbled into this album for the oddest of reasons. I grew up hearing it on occasion, but was often exhausted by the consistent falsetto singing of Jimmy Somerville, as well as a feeling of a sort of camp that inherently bugged me--to be fair, this also bugged me about parts of Nick Lowe's Party of One, which my brain has always told me I heard around the same time (along with a few other albums that are all blended in my head from when I was rather young). I can't tell you exactly why all that is, but it did leave me to ignore the band quite a long time. It was through a link to a list of gay anthems on a forum somewhere that, the name ringing a bell and the context I gained the link from encouraging it, I went and looked up "Smalltown Boy". I was immediately struck by how familiar I was with the song and wondered why it was I had avoided them so intently: clearly, this was exactly who I thought, as Somerville's voice is not exactly one you'd mistake for any others. So, off I went to find the album. It was being reissued around that time (on CD, I mean) so I skipped a CD copy I ran into, then couldn't find it again. While waiting for another to arrive (the reissue was by Edsel/Demon, which means it is highly unlikely to show up here in the States), I picked it up on LP instead when I found a copy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day Twenty-Seven: David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

RCA Victor ■ LSP-4702

Released June 6, 1972
Produced by Ken Scott and David Bowie

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Five Years
  2. Soul Love
  3. Moonage Daydream
  4. Starman
  5. It Ain't Easy
  1. Lady Stardust
  2. Star
  3. Hang on to Yourself
  4. Ziggy Stardust
  5. Suffragette City
  6. Rock 'n' Roll Suicide
While my new records tend to be kept in quite good shape (including the sleeves, though a little seam-splitting from shipped sealed ones is occasionally an issue--but I'm not overly picky most of the time), I have bought some real clunkers, condition-wise, in my used travels. As we go on through my collection, you will eventually start to see black "X"s in the top right corner of sleeves in permanent marker. This may horrify some, but it was really just the "dump stock" for a record store I frequented in high school--mostly a metal/industrial/punk store, so when I was buying some of the stuff I buy, it wasn't really for their market, and went into that bin. I do recall, actually, my good friend John (see all references to "best friend in high school and college") picking up a truly dilapidated copy of Who's Next from those bins (noticeably scratched) becuase it was only $1. This record, I honestly don't remember where I got. You can see the thing's been sellotaped (why do none of us have a non-brand-based term for this tape in wide general use? At least this one isn't pejorative...) around two sides, is suffering some extreme ringwear, and generally just looks well-used. The inner sleeve with lyrics (this particular edition was originally pressed with one--it's actually the first U.S. press from '72) is long gone, replaced with a plain white sleeve that has also been taped up, albeit with masking tape.

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