Left of the Dial: “T-Minus: Whenever It Feels Right”

Written by on February 2, 2019

Welcome back to “Left of the Dial” playing deep cuts from the classic age of vinyl and beyond. Going everywhere from pre-MTV New Wave, to Sludge Metal, to 1920’s Blues and more! Join your radio host Chris-R on another adventure down the rabbit hole

This episode on Spotify:

Every song ever featured on the program below:

If you missed last weeks Left of the Dial, click below!

Left of the Dial: “Yahoos and Triangles”

(This episode’s stream begins at 2:16 via Download link)

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Air

“La femme d’argent”

Moon Safari (1998)

A unique offering from French duo Air, who present a deconstruction of Downtempo music by incorporating rock instruments with genuine Funk grooves.

The style of “La femme d’argent” proves tricky to completely pin down, despite how natural its assembly may seem. The aesthetic matches that of an Ambient song, but there is an unmistakeable momentum that permeates through it that seems to borrow from the Western world of music. Even the moderately dependable Wikipedia seems to be clutching at straws with their genre description for the group, claiming it as “Space Pop”; really just a big nothing of a term, despite how intriguing it may sound.

Air’s Moon Safari is still an easy pill to swallow nonetheless, I’d been using it as a go-to music for breaking out with company; despite its eclectic leanings it is a generally pleasing album no matter what the crowd. These unique elements all come together as something immediately palatable for even the less adventurous music listener

These positive merits have not gone unnoticed of course, as many of the more “hip” music publications began heaping on praise for this album. Even the more narrowly minded publications like Rolling Stone ranked it as one of the best albums of the entire 1990’s, so there you go.

If you were to discuss Air with someone who’d call themselves a cinephile, you might get a surprising response. They may be slightly aghast that Air would even enter regular music conversation, as for many, Air’s true claim to fame is their soundtracking of Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides” film, elevating them to their own level of film-snob royalty. They occupy the same space as other unorthodox Synth soundtrackers like Goblin or Tangerine Dream.

The music of Air is an intoxicating one, and is sure to leave the listener wondering just what they were doing before it came into their life.

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Sleep

“Dragonaut”

Sleep’s Holy Mountain (1992)

The kings of all things sludgy, Sleep set their best foot forward with the headcrushing”Dragonaut”, a pummeling song that sets forth an orbit of inescapable groove.

It’s hard to say much about these legendary titans that hadn’t been said before, but luckily enough, the music does most of the talking for me here. It’s direct and cuts to the chase. Despite brandishing a noticeably lo-fi sound, Sleep utilize a lot more studio experimentation than they’re usually given credit for. Backwards vocal echo leads into the beginnings of verses for added tension, and the bass player Al Cisneros uses an awesome envelope bass filter that just cuts right through the top of the mix, occupying the perfect space in the band instrumental. Plus, envelope filters are just always cool on bass: whether it be Bootsy jamming around with it on “Up For The Downstroke”, or 1980’s Early-Indie originator Edie Brickell famously using an envelope bass filtered solo on her breakout hit “What I Am”.

The band is also pumping Black Sabbath’s fantastical lyrics full of testosterone, what’s cooler than a dragon astronaut? The band definitely built on the foundation Sabbath left while leaving behind the uh, wimpier side of their lyrics. You know, like finding the dish that ran away with the spoon at a Golden Rainbow’s end. Or about how the seventh night the unicorn is waiting in the sky. You get the idea. The verses are incredible too, full of life and energy no matter how daunting the tempo may drift. And when they get to the third verse, the drummer plays so behind the beat that he almost falls entirely off it.

All in all, Sleep makes for a great time on “Dragonaut”, refusing to let their song be anything less than fully exhilarating.

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Frank Black

“Headache”

Teenager of the Year (1994)

 

“Headache” is a perfect song near any way you slice it, packaged tight and ready for radio, it puts Frank Black’s Alternative-Pop sensibilities front and center making an earworm for the ages.

The smash hit song that never was, Frank Black’s post-Pixies career showcases him in all of his songwriting glory and proves he still had much to say with his music, with or without his past bandmates.

It is clear in this specimen from Teenager Of The Year that Frank Black (formerly known as Black Francis) found the disbanding of Pixies to be something of a liberating experience, as he engaged in another successful burst of songwriting creativity in the recording for Teenager of the Year, often using these new resources and styles that just wouldn’t work out in his past band. The songs are weird and idiosyncratic as ever, but now that there isn’t a recurring band to focus these songs on, Black turned inwards and produced more melodic rock songs with spindly song structures built to stand on their own two legs no matter who is performing them.

Maybe more than ever, Frank Black’s devotion to the music of Buddy Holly runs deep in this record’s DNA: nearly every song runs at just two minutes and change. But with a 22 song long tracklist, its’ hard to argue you didn’t get your full money’s worth.

Despite all the strange shock and awe that inhibited early Pixies from reaching the public, the true core of Pixies was their strengths in unique song structuring and using inherently fascinating chord structures which all carry over to the music of “Headache”. Pixies initial lack of success is the stuff of infamy, right up there with the brutally overlooked The Velvet Underground. Things seemed to have balanced out by now, but America had significantly less of an excuse to be ignoring this album by the year 1994 as Black Francis’ back catalog in Pixies had already seen its’ widespread idolization and subsequent grandfathering into the general music zeitgeist. The entire music industry’s eventually backpedaled on their absolutely unfair (albeit understandable) treatment of the band, who are nowadays seen near unanimously as one of the best rock bands of all time. That’s why I can give some more leeway for them reforming and performing as a “legacy act” with their best years behind ’em, they are now getting the success they should have seen thirty years ago.

Before all the recontextualization, there was one man making songs for a world that refused to listen. “Headache” stands head and shoulders among the best of them and should be overlooked no longer. You owe it to yourself, there’s few things better in life than the marvel of a perfect pop song.

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Paul Simon

“Run That Body Down”

Paul Simon (1972)

Recently divorced from his Simon & Garfunkel songwriting partnership, Paul Simon used his newly found freedom to record one of the most offhandedly artsy Folk albums around.

The successes of Paul Simon’s debut album bring to mind McCartney’s devastatingly under-appreciated Ram, which achieves a very similar level of magic as Paul Simon does. It’s clear that Simon wants to blow off some steam to the tune of arranging light, airy, acoustic guitar-laden instrumentals, but his years of studio virtuosity inevitably creep their way into his music time and time again. Nearly every song on here has those little moments of textured genius, making each new section a guessing game for where he may decide to take the song next.

One of my favorite sections of the entire record is “Run That Body Down”, the most relaxed instrumental this side of “San Tropez”. Paul plays a mellow acoustic part in cut-time, breezing along a very pleasant sounding song. The lyrics are a real catch too, I’d assumed for a good while that the title was a weird 70’s-ism for makin’ love (many of these 70’s euphemisms aged hilariously bad), but instead it is to be taken quite literally. Paul self describes talking to his wife and doctor who warn that his unhealthy living is gonna run that body down. And there is something very earnest about an older Paul Simon referring to himself in third person about the perils of living life as a couch potato.

A major highpoint for the song is in the inventively left-of-center guitar solo courtesy of Jerry Hahn. He plays it like he wants to aim for the melodicism found in Jazz, but with an insane amount of restraint to fit the rest of the mold he’s set to fill. Thus, the solo is a very compelling hybrid, using space and textures to perfectly supplement its’ portion of the song.

Hey, and get this! I literally just found out in researching this solo that Jerry Hahn had taught at PSU for years, how crazy is that? He’d left Portland State University over a decade ago but I concede that it is wild that he’d wind up here, who’dda thunk it.

The song-writings genius is in its’ small moments, presenting the entire package as a drama-free affair while still having the emotional resonance that a more “serious” work of music might. That’s why it’s no surprise that Simon has become a born-again hero to the recent waves of Indie-Rock, being brought back in the spotlight yet again with the return of Vampire Weekend and the bands apparent fascination with Graceland.

One can only wonder what Art Garfunkel would have thought at the arrival of his ex-partner’s debut. Maybe “He broke up the band so he could make . . .  THIS?!” but that’s beside the point. Simon furthered his music clout by playing entirely to his own rules.

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DEVO

“Working In The Coal Mine”

New Traditionalists (1981)

For a group whose name is shorthand for “De-evolution”, I suppose it’s only logical for them to retreat backwards to the year 1966 for this ditty.

DEVO had always been a band of surprises, but this was a unique career move that not even the band themselves could have predicted. The band had been contacted for providing something to the tie-in soundtrack for animated film “Heavy Metal”, a gratuitously off-the-wall film that sends high praise to all things Metal and defined a large part of its generation despite being complete schlock. DEVO haphazardly threw something together, a cover of an older tune called “Working In The Coal Mine”. Nobody expected much from it and it was considered a done deal, just a quickie between studio albums.

Imagine the shock of both the band and the record executives when this one-off cover gains legitimate airplay. That’s right, the least likely hit of the entire album was shooting up the charts to much surprise all around. In principle alone, DEVO was of an incredibly anti-commercial mindset and looky here, they had an actual hit on their hands.

Just a small gripe, I don’t want to even entertain the idea that DEVO could ever be considered a “One Hit Wonder” in any stretch of the imagination, and I am usually VERY liberal with that term. Near universally recognized today for influence is one thing, but this is case in point that they had actual mainstream listeners besides “Whip It”.

The music of “Working In The Coal Mine” is bouncy and full of that sweet early 80’s keyboard goodness. It bleeps and bloops in just the right way to bring a smile to my face. Dual harmonies sing the entire song and turn what could otherwise be seen as a kind of annoying song into a real delightful ditty. Wacky vocals that join only further insinuate that the band is in on the joke and having a grand ole time.

“Working In The Coal Mine” is part of a series of New Wave songs for the working man. It’s arguable if Working In A Coal Mine is any better than winding up working in a gas station, but let’s not compare it to Working For The Weekend.

Who knows, it might be this jolt in mainstream appeal that might’ve influenced DEVO big-brain Mark Mothersbaugh to start his über successful TV soundtracking work, a field he continues to work in today. Maybe this song didn’t stand the test of time the way some of their others have but that would be cruel to hold it against the song. It is too much fun to pass up.

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Martha and the Muffins

“Paint By Number Heart”

Metro Music (1980)

Before we even say anything, can we just acknowledge that this is like the most lovable band name maybe ever?

Ok, now we can talk about Martha and The Muffins and how these Canadians infiltrated their way into the Wild Wild West of early New Wave. I call this period of New Wave the Wild West because it really was a free-for-all for any band who wants to dip their toes into this ever-expanding style of music. And the market was generally very receptive to new developments in the genre, rewarding early bands and their creativity.

Martha steals the show, taking a middle ground that’s just between a Chrissie Hynde and Romeo Void’s Debora Iyall. The lyrics are full of neat little twists too, she states her individuality from love’s concept as she claims she doesn’t have a “Paint By Number Heart”, a nice metaphor that makes for a nicer song title.

And it wouldn’t be an early New Wave song without a massive saxophone solo in the middle, courtesy of Andy Haas. The guitarist for the group (one of the Muffins, I presume) is especially fascinating to hear play. He’s not reinventing the wheel but he sounds so giddy to be playing these songs as he infuses rapid rhythmic changes that suggest he’s coming more from the world of Punk. To those who keep a close eye to the history, the link between Post-Punk and New Wave is so direct that it seems like an inevitability for it to evolved the way it had. Now the line was blurred, and these bands were free to take their energy from Punk and explore into these new territories.

Of course, the glut of MTV came along and absolutely flooded the market until it became the corporate headache that stole radiowaves til the end of the decade. Don’t let that distract you from the great music that sparked it all, the hungry amateurishness is inspiring.

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Ozzy Osbourne (Randy Rhoads)

“Dee”

Blizzard of Ozz (1980)

An acoustic Classical-music driven solo performance may be the last thing you would expect from a fire and brimstone Heavy Metal album, but that’s what separates Randy Rhoads from the rest. Enter “Dee”, a short acoustic piece written by R.R. which flutters along with unmitigated beauty, an honest to God composition that somehow snuck its way onto Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne’s debut album Blizzard of Ozz.

Many metal shredders adopted Neo-Classical techniques before and after Randy Rhoads, but I’ll be first to state that there is something still mighty compelling about how Randy plays em. “Dee” is clearly through-composed and very carefully orchestrated, not a single note sounds out of place. His style drives the piece home even further, nary anybody can nail the performance in the same manner Randy does as there’s just something so personalized about his approach to his song. The small trills and delicate picking pattern make it a real pain to get juuuust right, I’ve seen many-a friend try time and time again to do so.

Written in the key of D and named after his mother, “Dee” progresses along with a real purpose to it. Randy’s trademarks are still found in this off-kilter composition from him, most notably being his insane double tracking regiments. If you were to ask any Metal guitarist about Randy Rhoads’ best techniques, they would probably gush on and on about his double tracked guitar solos for ages. This doubletracking highlights that not only is every note of his solos planned out, but he needed to play it note-for-note more than once! They are pitch perfect and give his solos an amazingly unique and lifelike quality that is so often missing from Metal solos. Double tracked acoustic guitar is just as exciting, almost tricking the ear into assuming it is a twelve-string playing the song.

It’s existence in and of itself is a joy.

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Shocking Blue

“Send Me A Postcard”

Scorpio’s Dance (1970)

Wow, this is a forcefully fun rock number.

Shocking Blue was a Dutch band from the Netherlands who’s greatest claim to fame may be for reason beyond their control. Of course, their band name/legacy is usually relegated to the liner notes of any Best-Of Nirvana compilation that’s sure to feature their left-field cover of “Love Buzz”. That’s pretty great buzz for a band long broken up before Nirvana tore it up, but I suppose it is a little disappointing that their biggest accomplishment has very little to do with their music itself. For the record, the original version still stands as kind of underwhelming and I think Cobain and Co. made something great out of a decent song.

“Send Me A Postcard” is much more in line of what I would have expected from the group if I had my way, the song soars with disorienting ease with all the instruments being either super fuzzy and washed out, or super bright and stilted sounding. Lead vocaless Fred de Wilde does a magnificently compelling job with this song, occupying a brute force to her voice that makes me think of a more Punk Rock Nico.

The band flew under the radar in their time and quietly gave the world some disgusting Proto-Metal that we so very much needed, much in the same vein as to what Budgie was accomplishing. “Send Me A Postcard” stands as a forgotten gem of a song that only shines brighter in its distance from present day.

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Bessie Smith

“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out”

*Single (1929)

I think we all know why millionaire’s don’t sing the blues . . . but what if they did? Enter Bessie Smith to the scene, definitely not a millionaire but a vessel for the postpartum shame that emerges after the gold rush is over.

An absolute stone cold classic in the blues standards canon, the pain of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” is an often detached one for the audience, which is made more compelling by how personally it is sung. Somehow, given the subject matter, the song only gets better when the listener is dissuaded from empathizing with its’ lead, better taken as a strange spectacle to marvel at.

The lack of relatability is no slight on Bessie Smith, she absolutely owns the song in a way that gives further credence to the moral of the song (whatever it may be). Her staggering vocal prowess gives off a confidence would could expect from boastful debutante of the roaring 20’s, but when allocated to the Blues, it all comes across as all the more sad and defeated. Dylan would of course touch on these same ideals in the arguable crown-wearer of ALL great songs, “Like A Rolling Stone”, but there is still room in the larger tapestry of dirt-broke millionaire songs.

The vocals throb with long-awaited defeat, taking stride in reminiscence of glory days passed by. Many others felt the personal need to give their take of the song, Eric Clapton’s interpretation with Derek and the Dominos is just stellar and Nina Simone also does a bang-up job with it. Still, I find myself going back to Bessie Smith and her winedrunk soliloquies of days far behind, singing to the days of when nothing is left to do but strike another match and start anew.

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Big Star

“The Letter -Live”

Nobody Can Dance -Rehearsals and Live Recordings (1999)

Here we have “The Letter” written by Alex Chilton of The Box Tops covered by the same Alex Chilton years later in Big Star. In this wicked version of the sunshine 60’s radio staple, we can observe a clear case of an artist aging into a new persona, while asking how they may come to terms with past iterations of the same musician.

“The Letter” had been a thorn in Chilton’s side, as the disastrously underselling Big Star was further taunted by Alex’s role in writing the massively popular hit single years before. The band was scraping by, and the songs everpresent success must have been damning on the Power Pop group who’d unfortunately named their first albums Radio City and #1 Record in a destined act of irony.

This new live version of “The Letter” paints a fascinating story that differs from listener to listener. The sloshy sounding trudge that the band delivers is miles away from the source material, either showcasing a band who’d played this for a few too many years or a musician whose digging this tune up from the alcoves. The entire band is so sloppy, it’s just lucky they performed this rudely on a song this simple to play. Chilton sounds like he is bound to break into laughter at any point during the song, giving strange inflections on what’s an otherwise straightforward song.

There were even rumors way back when that Alex Chilton didn’t even appear on the original Box Tops recording and was instead sung/played entirely by hired guns. It’s tough to tell if this dingy live rendition gives us the answers, as we’d never heard Chilton attempt that gruff Blue Eyed Soul style again, although you can hear that style of vocal done much truer on the cover by Joe Cocker.

Perhaps signalling the plunders and inner turmoils turned outward on Big Star Third, the live version of “The Letter” sounds like a funeral march but is still an enthralling listen. Possibly done on purpose, the song now bounces with a new direction and can make a case for the unconscious greatness that the band possessed.

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The Four Freshmen

“Angel Eyes”

Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones (1955)

Moody horn playing taken to another degree, The Four Freshmen add their candid soulfullness to the sounds of “Angel Eyes”. The uniqueness is brought up a few levels by the curious addition of five trombones, an oft-neglected member of the horn family which gives a magnificently warm and comfy sound to the expressiveness found at the songs’ core.

Yes, this song was featured on The Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones, the material is exactly what it says on the tin. This premise for an album is quickly elevated above gimmick levels into genuinely interesting territory with both the vocalists and instrumentalists working in tandem for great music.

I’d also be amiss if I didn’t acknowledge the obvious Brian Wilson connection. A young Beach Boy Wilson stumbled across this LP and found influence in its unique sound. Given his well-known fixations of Pop records “Be My Baby”, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Shortnin’ Bread”, it should come to no surprise that a record this sounds this large and airtight would meld Brian Wilsons’ style into what we know and love.

The album makes for a great spin on any winter day, the coldness of the outside world shimmers down like a light haze when this music is playing.

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The Who

“Whiskey Man”

A Quick One (1966)

 

A Quick One is a mostly focused hodgepodge of four larger-than-life music personalities all bound together under a unifying name: The Who.

Yes, after the rags to riches seen from The Who’s rushed and scrappy The Who Sings My Generation, the group was thrust into the spotlight with nary a second to catch their breath. Given the state of the band at the time, they had already exhausted a seemingly endless slew of non-album singles rushed to market, and had expressed discontent with a majority of the cover songs which padded out much of their debuts runtime. It is so, that The Who came forth with a tried-and-true sophomore LP that was surprisingly daring for its time and was the first inkling of the true band hiding inside The Who all along.

It would seem that even this early, The Who were interested in albums as conceptual works; which would of course be muuuch further expanded on in future releases Tommy, Quadrophenia, and next years The Who Sell Out. The theme here was not a lyrical one, but something to incentivize new songwriting and sell the band as a Jack of All Trades.

In a world of filler songs and Plain Jane backing musicians, The Who brought an unthinkable prospect for 1966 rock music: having songs written by EVERY member of the band. That’s right, each member was required to contribute at least two songs for the album, signifying a true band effort. And most of the songs came out very strong, encouraging extra freedom and creativity that may not have been tapped into otherwise. Just for funsies, let’s give a quick look at each members contributions.

First things first: sorry Rog, you drew the short straw¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Roger Daltrey is the only Who member that only had a single song make the cut, “See My Way” falls short of classic Who status and would probably have been left on the cutting room floor if not given this all-band concept. It’s also tough to tell if Roger felt any personal slight by having a cover song make the tracklist instead of a second song from him. Maybe he had the last laugh though, a decade later his solo album One Of The Boys was the best selling by any solo Who member.

Am I supposed to seriously act like Pete Townshend was “just another member, doin’ his part, tryin’ to write dem songs” because I don’t buy it. Even on this communal offering, Pete is far and away still the main voice of The Who even in this early stage. While the other members were finding their sea legs on this album, Townshend shoots far and away, constructing the first mini-opera of his career: the monumental “A Quick One While He’s Away”, a song that blends several different songs together into one mega-song. An obvious blueprint for their music to follow.

Keith Moon is the hammiest drummer around, I love him to bits. I could write a 10 page dissertation on the ridiculous “Cobwebs and Strange”, the most bonkers song to make it on a Rock LP maybe ever and a clearcut case for why bands should NEVER LET THE DRUMMERS WRITE THE SONGS (I kid, I kid). Cause when you DO let the Keith Moon of your band write, you get the marching band from Hell spectacular we hear here. I can’t do much justice, just listen to the dang thing. It’ll hurt your brain, guaranteed.

And finally, we get to the bands not so secret weapon: John Entwistle, writer of “Whiskey Man” here. John was giving Pete a legitimate run for his money for being the bands best songwriter, something Townshend very much noticed and actively feared. His other A Quick One contribution was the whimsical “Boris The Spider”, which would be played at nearly every Who show from here on out and takes residence in the figurative Bassist Hall of Fame. It also features the first recorded use of the death growl, so that’s neat.

Still, I prefer the tale of “Whiskey Man” just by a hair. John sings the story of his favorite drinking buddy: Whiskey Man, who only appears when he gets wasted off the funny juice. They get in hijinks together up until their drinking shenanigans gets him carried away into a padded cell in a Who-esque bout of Black Humour.

If they can’t see my whiskey man they must be going blind
Two men dressed in white collected me two days ago
They said there’s only room for one and whiskey man can’t go
Life is very gloomy in my little padded cell
It’s a shame there wasn’t room for whiskey man as well
Whiskey man’s my friend, he’s with me nearly all the time
He always joins me when I drink, and we get on just fine
The song’s musical qualities are also very apparent, a nice yin to Townshends’ usual yang for the group. It was also a nice touch for him to include himself playing French Horn on the middle eight of the song, just giving more cartoony goodness to this song. It’s a shame that Entwistle’s songwriting was often underplayed in later years, I’d also recommend his first solo album Smash Your Head Against The Wall for more bassy goodness.
*If you enjoy The Who and wanna know more about them, this upcoming Monday (2/4) I am premiering a new Radio series with The Who’s music as the first episode. Front to Back: The Who is gonna be the first edition of the Front to Back series, taking place the first Monday of every month. You won’t wanna miss it.

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T Bone Burnett

“Zombieland”

The True False Identity (2006)

Zombie reggae for the Workingman’s Dead. “Zombieland” plods along with a uniquely felt groove and bizarre instrumentation that gives a smoky aura around the backing band.

I found T Bone Burnett at the same time I’d gotten around to checking out Johnny “Guitar” Watson, although not the most similar in tone exactly, it made for a pretty swell pairing and gave T Bone a chance to stake his claim. His full guitar tone really sets the pace for the song, anchoring down a loose and free-associative band playing with him

I switch back and forth between T Bone’s vocals being the center of the song, or if the vocals are entirely disembodied from the track, it really could go either way. It’s unsure how serious we are supposed to take these lyrics, they range from graveyard spooky, to possibly existential in nature. I guess that’s part of the allure of it, “Zombieland” doesn’t give many answers but I don’t think it really matters.

Press play, and come stomp that Devil beat in Zombieland.

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Jackson Browne

“For Everyman”

For Everyman (1973)

We have reached the end of the broadcast my friends, and I wish you all farewell with a song For Everyman.

Jackson Browne has music that is plain as rain to the casual ear but has a shocking amount of talent working the machinery. Browne had been cutting his teeth doing studio work at a shockingly young age, Jackson Browne had a more prolific professional career by the age of 19 than most musicians would ever dream of in an entire lifetime.

He had somehow landed himself in the real crowd of “who’s who” in musiciandom, playing in the same company as Bobby Dylan himself and on the iconic “These Days” from Warhol superstar Nico (Which I played on a broadcast last year <—-). Listen to that guitar part. Whether you play Folk fingerstyle guitar or not, you can surely appreciate how impressive that guitar performance is. Even more impressive, the entirety of “These Days” was written by him at the tender age of sixteen.

He’d also had the eternal pleasure of writing the Baby Boomer anthem to end them all, “Take It Easy”, which was later stripped of all its charm by The Eagles; I stand with Jackson’s recording of it found on this album to the superior version. Same with Tom Waits and his pitch-perfect “Ol 55” being slapdashedly mangled by The Eagles, give it a break, boys.

There’s a fair enough comparison to Boz Scaggs somewhere in here, both are amazing guitarists turned singer/songwriter who’d find peak success with the Jazzy Pop-Rock found in the mid-70’s. Taking his further forays into Yacht Rock aside, Jackson’s first three or four albums are just pure songwriting. A real singer/songwriter for the ages, plunging himself directly to the hearts of what America needs from music. Just it’s basic bones, standing strong.

A fan favorite is his sophomore albums closing track, “For Everyman”. The track plays out much like you’d expect from the rest of the album, albeit with a slightly more rushed feel, giving a sense of anticipation for something to come. The words ring true and the band plays strong, all coming to a build in the song’s magnificent coda. The outro onward is the beautiful stuff that Folk dreams are made of, when the band ducks down for Jackson’s singular acoustic line the world just kind of stops for a second. The band builds and builds before launching back into what we’d all come here to see.

A real triumphant way to close out a record, and a solid enough way to end this episode.

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Enjoy the episode? Listen to Chris-R’s other hosted show “Thoroughly Modern Mondays”, where the grab bag grabs back!
We went through the best songs of the year thus far. January was a slamming year for new music.

Newest episode can be streamed below:

Thoroughly Modern Mondays 1/28/19

I also wrote a biiiig article on THE TOP 100 SONGS OF 2018: meticulously ranked and no stone was left unturned. All streaming in a Spotify playlist and written about/reviewed in a KPSU article, both are linked.

100 BEST SONGS OF 2018 RANKED

And if you’d like to read about Chris-R and his trip to Desert Daze 2018: America’s best Psych-Rock festival, click below.

Desert Daze 2018: Fuzz-Boxes and Freakshows

One more time, here’s the playlist that has every song ever featured on the program.

 

 

You can also follow Chris-R on Instagram if you’d like. . .

@arizonan_summer

Playlist:

Track

Artist

Album

  • La femme d'argent
    Air
    "Moon Safari" -1998
  • Dragonaut
    Sleep
    "Sleep's Holy Mountain" -1992
  • Headache
    Frank Black
    "Teenager Of The Year" -1994
  • Run That Body Down
    Paul Simon
    "Paul Simon" -1972
  • Working In The Coal Mine
    DEVO
    "New Traditionalists" -1981
  • Paint By Number Heart
    Martha and the Muffins
    "Metro Music" -1980
  • Dee
    Ozzy Osbourne
    "Blizzard of Ozz" -1980
  • Send Me A Postcard
    Shocking Blue
    "Scorpio's Dance" -1970
  • Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
    Bessie Smith
    *Single -1929
  • The Letter -Live
    Big Star
    "Nobody Can Dance -Rehearsals and Live Recordings" -1999
  • Angel Eyes
    The Four Freshmen
    "Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones" -1955
  • Whiskey Man
    The Who
    "A Quick One" -196
  • Zombieland
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  • For Everyman
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