Archive for the ‘ music ’ Category

the last of the ramones

tommyramone1

i woke up this morning with an alert on my phone that tommy ramone, the first drummer for the ramones, passed away last night.  he was 65.  it’s hard to believe that all four original members of the ramones are now gone.

i discovered the ramones in 1995 after ¡adios amigos! came out.  i ordered it from the columbia house record club not knowing a thing about these guys.  i was hooked instantly.  from there, i bought ramones mania (a greatest hits compilation) and followed that up with the ramones, leave home and rocket to russia.  tommy only played on the first three records which are also their best.

the ramones created a sound and a style that will forever be imitated by kids in garages that like to play their music loud and fast.  thank you for contribution to rock and roll and to my life.  you will be missed.

The Ramones

buy this album: metamodern sounds in country music

sturgill

hello again.  you might not remember me.  i used to write here all the time and then suddenly stopped.  i hope you didn’t think the worst.  anyways, i’m back and i’ll be 100% back in a couple of weeks.  i wanted to go ahead and recommend an album for you to purchase: sturgill simpson’s metamodern sounds in country music.  you’re probably thinking to yourself, “he hasn’t written anything in a month and a half and this is what he comes back with?”  solid point, but this album is that f’ing good.  it’s not bro country or that other kind of cunt-try you’ve heard on your local radio station.  this is throw-back, balls-out, outlaw country.  you know the kind of country your dad used to tell you about over a couple of pbrs.  go download it, crack open a cold one and thank me later.

yeezus indian headress t-shirt

yeezust2

i bought this t-shirt.  this is not a joke.  i think it’s f**king awesome.  it reminded me of the grateful dead x wes lang t-shirt that i neglected to buy last year.  leave it to kanye to create something so next level that it almost completely contradicts his personal brand (or does it? i can’t keep up).

i missed his show in nashville the other night.  it looked amazing from what i saw on instagram.  i hope i can catch it in another city, but if that doesn’t happen, at least i’ll have this badass indian headress t-shirt (that’s funny on so many levels).  you can get your very own here if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

legends of summer style

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i went to the legends of summer show last night in chicago.  it was amazing.  seeing jay-z in concert was a bucket list item for me.    he’s a legend.  i’ll be the first to admit that it took several appearances on snl for me to warm up to justin timberlake.  his association with the early 2000’s boy band movement should have relegated him to music purgatory, but the dude climbed out of it just fine.  he killed it last night; he’s a true entertainer.  consider me a fan.

one thing i took away from the show was jt’s summer concert look.  i’m not saying you or i could pull off this look (because we’re not famous entertainers that sell out stadiums), but it’s definitely worth noting.  to open the show, timberlake wore a white short sleeve shirt buttoned all the way to the top and a fitted pair of black shorts that hit right above the knees.  he topped it off with a black tribly hat and a custom pair of air jordans (that he later gave away via instagram).  the shirt and shorts were tailored perfectly – which got me thinking: the more i try to understand what style is the more i realize it’s all about the fit.  and you don’t have to be jt or jay z to get that right.  guys, make sure your clothes fit.

it was truly a memorable evening.  i hope you get a chance to catch one of the remaining shows.  i’m already trying to figure out how i can score tickets to see jt when he comes to nashville in a couple of months.

neilbarrettshirt

neil barrett shirt (in case you were curious)

warm weather music

it’s most likely hot outside wherever are, so you probably need some warm weather tunes to keep you cool (double entendre? yeah, i think so). when the weather heats up, i have four go-to albums. they’re perfect for a long drive, trip to the beach, bbq or whatever. the following albums need to be #onrepeat on your stereo during the summer:

bobmarleysongs

bob marley: songs of freedom box set (disc 1 only): you’re probably thinking, “what a cop out. everyone puts on bob marley when the weather gets warm.” stop right there. this is not your run-of-mill carnival cruise line kind of bob marley. disc 1 is the early, early bob marley and the wailers. it’s the music rooted in american r&b and soul, and it’s fantastic. towards the end of the disc 1, you hear the makings of ska and reggae, but your safe from “three little birds” and “no woman no cry” until later in the box set.

dickdalesurferschoice

dick dale and his del-tones: surfer’s choice: surf music starts with dick dale. he literally invented the sound with the help of his good buddy, leo fender of fender guitars. dale wanted his music to reflect the sounds he heard in his mind while surfing. i would say he succeeded and that’s evident on his 1962 debut album, surfer’s choice. if you’ve seen pulp fiction (shame on you if you haven’t), you’ll recognize “miserlou” from the opening credits. it’s the one with the slick, reverb-heavy guitar that slaps you right in your jaw. the rest of surfer’s choice is a lot like it i.e. perfect for a day at the beach or riding some waves.

getzgilberto

stan getz and joao gilberto: getz / gilberto: this is the album that bought bossa nova to the masses in the 1960’s. i honestly couldn’t tell you what the hell bossa nova is, but that doesn’t matter. this album is like drinking the world’s best mojito on a hot day. it opens with a little number you might have heard of called “the girl from ipanema.” the 7 tracks that follow are just as good. put it on when you’re having a few friends over for a cookout or your trying to impress the girl in the apartment down the hall by appearing “well cultured.”

tropicali

soul jazz records presents tropicali: this is where things get weird. tropicali is a genre of music that came out of the 60’s that blended rock, bossa nova (there it is again), soul, and a bunch of other sounds and rhythms to create a whole new movement. (quick heads up: it sounds like there might have been some drugs involved in the making of this music.) i don’t think the movement lasted very long, but this compilation captures some of the best tunes from this experimental period. be sure to check out gil gilberto’s “bat macumba”, os mutantes “a minha menina”, and caetano veloso’s “irene.” it’s trippy. don’t say i didn’t warn you.

on the stereo lately

people keep emailing and asking me what i’ve been listening to lately (this is a flat out lie – no one has emailed me).  here’s what’s been on constant rotation the past few weeks:

jimjames copy

jim james regions of light and sound of god: the my morning jacket frontman can do no wrong in my eyes.  he gets better (and weirder) with age.  check out “state of the art (a.e.i.o.u.)” and “a new life.”

wildcubyouth

wild cub youth: wild cub is making some of the coolest music coming out of nashville right now (and no, it’s not country).  youth came out last fall, but recently it’s been picking up a lot of traction.  they played rebecca minkoff’s runway show during new york fashion week and have been selling out west coast tour dates.  i would recommend jumping on the bandwagon now, because they’re going to be everywhere in a few months.  check out “thunder clatter” and “colour.”

bonus selection:

Emerson Brothers

donnie and joe emerson’s song “baby”: you’re going to need to go ahead and get over the cover art.  trust me, i thought it was a joke too, but it’s not.  there’s a cool story behind this album (click here to read the la times piece on it).  the only track i own is “baby.”  i couldn’t tell you if the rest of the album is good and honestly i don’t care.  “baby” is my jam and it should be one of yours too.

 

classic christmas album covers

01deanmartinxmas copy

i don’t know about you, but i’m trying to get in the christmas spirit around here. usually i wait until the week of to start listening to christmas music and hanging lights and buying presents, but not this year. this year i’m starting early. (i’m actually listening to dean martin’s winter romance as i type this post.) rather than post a link to a mix you’ll never listen to on spotify, i thought it’d be fun to check out the cover art of some of my all time favorite christmas albums. kids these days ain’t doing it right. click read more for the rest of the list.

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new york, new york

i grew up listening to my dad tell the story of where he was when jfk was shot.  he was in his high school locker room getting ready to go play basketball.  he can remember every detail.  i used to wonder if there would be an event in my lifetime that would shake me the same way jfk’s assassination shook our parents generation.  september 11, 2001 is that event.  i’m not going to bore you with the details of what i was doing when i heard the news or what i did the rest of day.  i will tell you that i remember seeing this video a week or two after the towers fell, and every year on this day i watch it.  it’s an eerie feeling to know it was filmed 4 days before the attacks.  i realize the song is about a breakup, but i like listening to it as a tribute to the most resilient city in the world.  we’ll never forget.  “hell, i still love you, new york.”

current listening: michael kiwanuka

there’s a lot of good new music out right now (e.g. frank ocean, gaslight anthem, dirty projectors), but i can’t turn off michael kiwanuka’s debut album home again.  kiwanuka cut his teeth as a london based session player before stepping out as a solo artist late last year.  home again is a stripped down, raw record of throwback 60’s / 70’s soul.  i tend to stay away from records you can buy at the starbucks counter, but kiwanuka is special.  be sure to check out “tell me a tale”, “i’m getting ready,” and the dan auerbach collaboration “lasan.”

wouldn’t it be nice

the beach boys pet sounds is arguably the greatest album of all time (it’s #2 on rolling stone’s list).  “wouldn’t it be nice” kicks off pet sounds and is one of my favorite summer jams.  i hadn’t seen the video until yesterday.  i was surprised not to see any females in bikinis in the video, but then remembered this was 1966.  

pet sounds was predominately a brian wilson album with the rest of the beach boys only filling in vocals here and there.  wilson obsessed over every detail trying to top the beatles’ rubber soul.  when he presented it to the label, they told him they weren’t going to release it.  good thing for us it was released the way brian intended it to sound and has since become a classic.

here are a few photographs of brian wilson and the beach boys recording pet sounds.  there’s also a couple of outtakes from the album cover shoot.  notice wilson’s black watch plaid pants in the last photo.  i need to find some of those.

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