Tag Archives: records

Random Record Night: October 7 Recap

I spent pretty much all afternoon locked in the kitchen brewing beer, cooking chili, and baking bread. Cooking when it’s hot is THE WORST. Cooking in the cool autumn weather with the backdoor open is THE BEST. While I did all that, I was listening to these:

Sharon, Lois & Bram, Live in Concert with the Mammoth BandSharon, Lois & Bram, Live in Concert with the Mammoth Band

When I pulled this out, I thought to myself, “Shit, another children’s record. I’ve had TOO MANY of those lately.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I love them, but, enough is enough, okay? They all start to sound the same after a while. The farmer is in the dell, I GET IT. But, this one was different. This record was fantastic. So many great songs on here. I don’t remember listening to this type of thing as a kid, but I feel like maybe, at some point, I did and it sunk in and I stored it way back in my brain for some other point in my life. Also, the album cover is just ridiculously nice to look at.

Buddy Holly Lives, The Crickets 20 Golden GreatsBuddy Holly Lives, The Crickets 20 Golden Greats

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like Buddy Holly. Or, I don’t understand him. Or, I’m not sure. It’s something. There’s something about him that I just don’t get. But this album kind of laid it all out there for me and he started to make a little more sense. So, maybe I’ll come back to Buddy Holly and really attempt to hear him and figure him out. Maybe he does live? Maybe he’s living in a coach house in Seattle with Elvis RIGHT NOW. (By the way, Elvis is someone else that I don’t really understand. Yeah, I know. I’m THAT GUY.)

Monitor Presents Jack Elliott: Ramblin’ CowboyMonitor Presents Jack Elliott: Ramblin' Cowboy

This is one of those albums that I own and I have a feeling it should probably be LOCKED AWAY in a vault somewhere because it’s WORTH SOMETHING and I should not let a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old climb on top of the crate that it’s stored in. But, I don’t worry about that type of thing. It goes around and it plays songs that Jack said and I feel like he’s there with me. And that’s all I need it for. “What are you saying, Jack? Oh, I see. Yeah, I know. Yeah, that’s true.” I understand Jack Elliott and I also don’t understand him at all, but want to keep trying to figure him out. Look at him leaning on that guitar case. It’s some photo shoot that he was probably a part of. What do you think he’s got spinning around under his hat while the photographer is trying to snap his picture? I wonder. I wonder. Do you think the photographer had an easy time at that session? I wonder that too.

Hansel and GretelHansel and Gretel

This four-record album is three records too long. I am probably just not HIGH TONED enough to listen to opera music, even when the lyrics are inexplicably in English. It’s boring to me. Although, I will say, it made for soothing background music. I found my mind eased. My shoulders relaxed. My forehead unfurrowed. So that’s something, perhaps. (Note: I had a college roommate who said PERHAPS in almost every sentence that he spoke. PERHAPS he had some sort of issue? Or, PERHAPS he didn’t know what the word PERHAPS meant? PERHAPS he should have slept less and gone to more classes? PERHAPS he shouldn’t have worn that New York Yankees hat every single day? PERHAPS.)

Random Record Night: September 29 Recap

I hadn’t listened to any music since late August, so of course I go ahead and have Random Record Night two nights in a row. SORRY BABY.

Usually I’m brewing beer or cooking something while I do this. (Who wants to just sit and listen to music? BORING.) Last night, I was just making some pizza dough and fresh-picked-basil pesto. No actual cooking, but SO MUCH MIXING.

Anyway, here’s what the records were like:

Sesame Street Story TimeSesame Street Story Time

Don’t fuck with the King. He will teach you not one, not two, not three, but FOUR ways to be a good and moral and decent human being. I listened to this and I heard it.

Bob Dylan, John Wesley HardingBob Dylan, John Wesley Harding

Even though I’m a little too familiar with Bob Dylan, I’m not so familiar with this album. For whatever reason it’s one that I just neglect. Lots of good songs, though. “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” is always one I like to hear. It also has “All Along the Watchtower.” However, I don’t like this song. I think it’s because it’s one of those tunes where everyone will say things like, “Oh yeah, I like Bob Dylan. ‘All Along the Watchtower’ is SOOOO GOOOOD. Have you heard [insert other musicians name]’s version. It’s THE BEST.” Or, I think that happens. Does it? I bet it probably does. I usually have a hard time listening to what other people say, so I’m not sure if that’s ever been said, though.

Johnny Cash at San QuentinJohnny Cash at San Quentin

Do musicians still go into prisons and perform for the inmates? They should. This record is why. Also, there’s no one in the world who doesn’t like Johnny Cash. HE’S LOVABLE.

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Three Blind MiceArt Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Three Blind Mice

This is how I like to end a night. The cover art is kind of stupid, but I enjoy looking at it anyway. Looks like Art has RED LASERS shooting out of his face.

Random Record Night: September 28 Recap

Oh, hey, look at this here. I guess I do other stuff than just sit around feeling sorry for myself and popping pills. Sometimes I brew beer and listen to vinyl records that I pull out of my stacks randomly. And then I write about how they made me feel. And I call it a Random Record Night Recap.

I’m working through my whole collection of vinyl in this way. Conversations in my house about Random Record Night sometimes go like this:

Wife: “Random Record Night is cool and all, but, tonight, can we just listen to some records that we DON’T pick out randomly?

Me: No.

So here we go:

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Young Brigham
Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Young Brigham

Ramblin’ Jack is kind of the reason that I play guitar and sing the way that I do. When I first started performing, I sang out of the side of my mouth like him. I tuned my guitar a half step down like him. (DON’T DO THIS. People HATE it when they pick up your guitar to play a song and can’t figure out what’s wrong.) I even wore a cowboy hat for a brief amount of time. (I don’t like to admit this because I am not a cowboy AT ALL.) Ramblin’ Jack is just fantastic. This record isn’t the best one of his that I own, but it’s still pretty good. Maybe it’s his most “commercial,” but I don’t know what that really means. It’s not a recording done on a boat in the English Channel. But not everything can be that.

Uncle Dave’s 78rpm Nostalgia Party #3
Uncle Dave's 78rpm Nostalgia Party #3

Look at the cover of this. That’s the type of music it is, okay? I don’t know any other way to explain it. Get all dudded up. Invite over some of your dudded-up friends and sit around in arm chairs in front of an old Victrola player. This is the music that will come out. You and your friends will enjoy it. You will remember that night FOREVER.

Early Early Childhood Songs with Ella JenkinsEarly Early Childhood Songs with Ella Jenkins

Here’s a kids music vinyl. This is Ella Jenkins playing a bunch of old tunes on banjo, guitar and harmonica on one side. And then doing the same thing on the other side, except with a bunch of kids in the room. Lots of idle chatter on this record. Only reason I’m not a fan of that is because when I’ve got a big kettle of beer brewing I can’t always hear what they’re talking about. So I’ll hear things like, “Oh yes, oh yeah, yes. Mama gonna do that right now. Get the barbecue hot!” And then a song starts. Hmm.

Nat “King” Cole sings Ballads of the DayNat "King" Cole sings Ballads of the Day

I don’t know why I have so many Nat “King” Cole records. I don’t like ANY of them. I know there are like 10 more in my collection that I’ll have to listen to. I DREAD that. I will say, though, if I had lived in a time where the “Ballads of the Day” were these ballads, well, I would probably love them. Think about all the HAND HOLDING and ROSY-CHEEK KISSING. What are our “Ballads of the Day”? Does anyone sing ballads anymore? Do these modern-day ballads also get you some sweet sweet PALM?

101 Golden Nursery Songs101 Golden Nursery Songs

The title says it all. Its just one long medley of every children’s song there is. EVER. Not a great record to listen to at the end of a long night. It’ll make you feel more insane then you already do. You will have NIGHT SWEATS.

Random Record Night: August 25 Recap

Woah. Two nights in a row for Random Record Night. That’s got to be some sort of record (pun intended). As I said yesterday, I was cooking while listening to the following albums, so there’s some songs I don’t hear. Some notes I forget. Some sounds that don’t get into my head. Tonight, I’ve got Keith Olbermann’s new ESPN2 show, Olbermann Live, on in the background right now, so I’m completely distracted. Not that I’m necessarily listening to or watching it, but there’re a whole lot of words flying around and I usually can’t ignore words no matter what they are. So you’re going to get a DISTRACTED, HALF-ASSED RECAP. You’re welcome.

Nancy Sinatra, Lightning’s GirlNancy Sinatra, Lightning's Girl

This is a good record. Nancy Sinatra takes some chances. I guess. Every time I hear Nancy Sinatra, though, I kind of think to myself, “It’s not her. It’s her HANDLERS. It’s the PEOPLE AROUND HER. It can’t be her. Maybe she isn’t even singing. Is she singing? Is that singing? What is it? Now I’m lost.” And then I flipped it over to side B and it’s all duets with Lee Hazlewood. That dude is weird. I like it and I don’t like it and I forget it and it bores me and then it completely excited me. All in the same song. That happens for every song of the side. Whatever is going on, though, it’s a good record to set off a Sunday night. I felt good after it was done playing. And the cover art is dynamite. Nancy Sinatra looks like a fake person. Like, maybe she’s the daughter of that fake-face psychiatrist in that one season of Dallas. (INTERNET RESEARCH UPDATE: His name was Dr. Elby. And, yes, I have watched a LOT of the original Dallas.)

Josh WhiteJosh White

I’m moving on now from the Nancy Sinatra album, not because I have nothing left to say, but because I’m starting to ramble. So, now, Josh White. Hey, Folk Music is cool again now, right? Yeah, FUCK THAT. Folk Music with a capital F and capital M sucks. And, yeah, I’m a hater. This record has some Folk Music, but also some folk music and the folk music is so good. There’s even a track with Sonny Terry. It made me say out loud, “No way that’s Sonny Terry. It’s some jerk trying to sound like him. Oh, no, wait…it is HIM. Shit.” So, it’s like that. I liked it. I like Josh White.

Laurindo Almeida, Danzas!Laurindo Almeida, Danzas!

This one is excellent. It’s Spanish guitar. I know nothing about Spanish guitar and this could be a record by some Spanish guitar hack, but it certainly grabbed a hold of me. (UPDATE: Okay, this guy is legit.) It made me hate the sound I get coming out of my guitar. Or, want those sounds of mine to be something else. Or made me hear them and all the bells and whistles and cracks and slaps in my guitar playing. And then think, “Oh, I’m doing okay. I’ll get there too.” So, if you play guitar, get this record. It’ll probably help you out, if you’re up for it.

Building the First Transcontinental Railroad/The Wright Brothers, Pioneers of American AviationBuilding the First Transcontinental Railroad/The Wright Brothers, Pioneers of American Aviation

It’s a recording from a book. Or, I’m not sure what this is. It’s a couple people talking and acting out written parts. There are sound effects. There’s some organ playing that creeps in and out and in and out and in and out throughout the whole album. And it’s about 15 minutes total listening time. BOTH SIDES. I just don’t know what this is, but I liked it. By the end I was totally on board. I was singing, “GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH, GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH.” And I’m not even sure why. I don’t think that song was in the recording at all. I just felt my American blood boiling and bubbling, I guess. Something like that. Who knows.

Random Record Night: August 24 Recap

Here’s the way all the albums I pulled blindly from my stacks and listened to last night (for Random Record Night) made me feel. Note, that most of the time when I have a Random Record Night, I’m cooking a big batch of food for the week. Like, tonight, Sunday, I’m cooking a huge pot of tomato and kale soup with barley and pigeon peas. Last night, though, while hearing the albums, I was brewing a small batch of beer. Haven’t done that since the cool-weather spring. Anyway, I’m usually doing something. I’m usually not paying as much attention to the music as you might think. Or, I am, but….I hear it. I listen to it. But, it’s like I have two ways to judge it. Boring and Not Boring. But, more on that later. I’ve had an idea, that’s a couple weeks old, for a post to explain how I hear things. It’s simmering, so to speak. Anyway, enough of Boring and on to the records that were played:

Bill Haley’s Greatest Hits!Bill Haley's Greatest Hits!

This record moves. The second song is one that I’ve sung, recorded, and butchered. Sorry Bill. Anyway…rockabilly can really get your night started off right, no matter the time or place. Just look at those babes on the front cover. To think, an hour earlier they were all worried about if they should wear a headband or not. And then someone in the photo studio turned on a Bill Haley track and they lost their shit. LOST IT. Bill Haley is part of God. He’s like your dad. You want to be him so bad, but you also want to surpass him (but you probably never will and you know that, cause your dad actually worked hard). So, this record is fantastic.

Chet Atkins, Teen SceneChet Atkins, Teen Scene

You want to know something? Chet Atkins is better than you at guitar. He’s probably also better than you at most things (chopping wood, fixing electronics, kissing women). But maybe not the TEEN SCENE. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a great recording. It has everything there. But I’d rate it as mostly boring. it sounds like something that someone does when they know they’re about to be made irrelevant (but also know that they’ll never be irrelevant since the IN that’s driving them OUT is built on something they discovered). The cover even kind of shows you this. So many people with their backs turned to Chet. It’s like they’re saying, “Sorry Chet, you’re great and all, and I USED to love you, but there’s this other thing now that I like a little bit better and makes me want to stand and stare a bit more than your smiling sweater.”

The Harold Betters Sound, Ram-Bunk-ShushThe Harold Betters Sound, Ram-Bunk-Shush

I’ve been waiting for this record. I’d never listened to it before. No one else ever wanted to. It put me in a silly mood and I adore it. It’s all trombone. Every song. Every single one has trombone just right out there in front. Just like, “Hey, fuck it, turn up the TROMBONE TRACK.” Now, I don’t know anything else about this record, so maybe I’m getting it wrong (SMALL AMOUNT OF INTERNET RESEARCH UPDATE: I am…see this). Really, what interests me about this is the album title (RAM-BUNK-SHUSH) and the cover art. What does RAM-BUNK-SHUSH mean? Is it a trombone term? Is it when you take the trombone slide ALL THE WAY OUT? Is it when you release the SPIT VALVE? Is it the residue on the towel that you keep in your trombone case to catch the old saliva coming out of your spit valve? I DON’T KNOW. Someone tell me.

Johnny Hodges and All the Duke’s MenJohnny Hodges and All the Duke's Men

Eh, this was a jazz record that I didn’t really hear. It’s someone else leading Duke Ellington’s band. Apparently that makes a big difference. Who knew that band leaders were so important? (Not me.)

The Best of the Modern Jazz QuartetThe Best of the Modern Jazz Quartet

I love this Atlantic series of “Best Of” records. I have one featuring Ornette Coleman that’s my favorite record of all time. So I can get into this one. But, of course, it was late at night and I was worn out and finishing up getting a sugary brew into a big jug and I probably didn’t pay any attention to any of the songs. Was that my fault? Maybe. But who’s to say. Who’s to say. Either way, the cover is something interesting to look at. I know that no one makes hardcopy recordings any more (unless you uselessly BREAK THE BANK as a struggling band), but I really miss the thought that went into cover art. This is a “Best Of” album and the art is, in my opinion, more creative than probably 99% of the other stuff out there now. What do I like about this one? There’s an equal amount of black and white space, but both move in different directions. There’s bleed. And the focal point is on the faces. There’s more to say, but I only took one semester of real graphic design and one art history class. So, I’m no expert.