Posts by Rob O' Connor
- Rob O' Connor at List Of The Day4 mths ago
The mid-70s were a time of great change. #1 hits were a hyper-paced revolving door. Like the great philosopher Heidi Klum once said, one week you're in, the next week you're out!
When you compare this list to those of the 1960s and early '70s, it becomes apparent that advancing studio technology does not guarantee anything but more "professional" sounding recordings. The inspiration is still an independent agent. "Afternoon Delight" is a cheeky number, but many of these are more of the afternoon blahs type, where the carb coma has you fighting to stay awake.
Once again, these are the #1 hits of the summertime for the years 1974 through 1976, a measly three years in time. Some great tunes here. Some not so hot. The problem is getting people to agree. One woman's heartfelt treasure is another woman's divorce song. I like to think there was a reason for the Ramones.
- Rob O' Connor at List Of The Day5 mths ago
Three-quarters (3/4) of Black Sabbath have reunited for a new album -- 13 -- that's already been their first #1 album in the U.S. Proving if you stick around long enough, everyone will claim they were always a fan!
But in the early 1970s, there weren't as many people claiming to enjoy this fascinatingly monotonous thud of single-minded intensity. No, most critics were allergic to them and the band's fans were often considered the dull end of the knife. Yet, slowly, over the years, each generation dug them more than the previous one and new bands were inspired by the Sabbath sound and legacy. (Though I'm inclined to think it took much longer for pure-Sabbath-inspired bands to appear. Judas Priest were closer to the prototype for most metal bands of the 1970s-1980s.)
These days, you can always check out Brooklyn's NAAM if you'd like a shot at modern Sabbath in use -- or you can always head back for the real thing.
Let's rate those Sabbath albums!
- Rob O' Connor at List Of The Day6 mths ago
The Memorial Celebration will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-in basis (subject to venue capacity). All ages are welcome, and paid parking will be available around the venue.
Jeff Hanneman's death at 49 puts a serious crimp into the fortunes of his band Slayer. The band managed without him the past few years by relying on substitute guitar players for their live performances. However, with one-quarter of the band's militia down for the final count, it remains to be seen how the band will proceed. Surely, the 'songs about nazis' will see a serious drop. Also, the band's new material could become less frequent, as by most accounts and evidence, Hanneman was the main writer in the group, with Kerry King coming in a distant second and Tom Araya clearly third.
- Rob O' Connor at List Of The Day7 mths ago
While the "Woodstock" sales pitch lingered for years after the date, the various performers went on to live out different fortunes. Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young became superstars. Tim Hardin, who tragically didn't appear in the film, struggled with personal demons and writer's block. Jimi Hendrix died soon after. The Who sold their songs to anyone who would buy them.
And Richie Havens played dinner theaters where he could count on $45 a head from a well-heeled crowd who remembered their time in the mud of Woodstock, whether or not they were actually there. Havens wrote a few songs of his own, but mostly depended on an ear that knew the kind of song he could sing. Pop music moved away from folksingers and Richie flirted with adult-contemporary but the true fire was in those first batch of records.
The local PBS station in the tri-state area of NYC welcomed Richie every time they dug out their copy of Woodstock for their pledge drives. I suppose the Masterpiece Theatre crowd were too busy clipping coupons.
Here are ten tracks that wouldn't do you wrong.
10) San Francisco Bay Blues:
- Rob O' Connor at List Of The Day7 mths ago
Fact is, George Jones is one of the very few musicians you can wing superlatives at and never overstate your case. His early manager and "producer" Pappy Daily sent him into the recording studio the way young parents send their kids into the bathroom. If Jones wasn't in the studio making hits, he was out on the road telling everyone about what he just did.
While this meant the quality of his records were hit and miss, it also ensured that he was never out of the public eye for very long. In an age when musicians take years to make a single 11-track album, Jones recorded 151 tracks in two years at United Artists in 1962-64 and then went to Musicor Records where he recorded nearly double that in seven more.
This list is obviously barely a single drop in a bucket that overfloweth! While I'm sure most of you would love to read a list of the 419 best George Jones songs, the hip-to-be-square dark overlords that run things around here think that would be a mite excessive.
As someone who compromises for a living, I offer you just 25 songs that represent 'The Greatest Country Singer Who Ever Lived.' And that is no meaningless phrase. That one's for real.
The worst cover versions of most songs are heard at the local open mic. But we clap politely because the guy doing the off-key version of "Wish You Were Here" is a sweet guy who's just so happy to be out of the house for an evening that to let him in on his lousiness would be inhumane.
Popular recording artists, though, deserve to be called out when they harm a great song. They're big boys. They can take it.
I pulled off the novelties. William Shatner was odd in his day and Paul Anka and Pat Boone have come back to haunt us with deliberate camp of modern songs, but there's something too deliberate there. Maybe next time.
Check out the horrible covers here, but for sanity's sake, listen to the originals to remind yourself of what good music is and to cleanse your head.
10) U2 -- Satellite of Love
After reading through the thousands of emails from readers just like you, all telling me how much you enjoyed that first 'Experiment In Sound' where we put up three songs that sounded quite a bit like three other ones, I realized that there was a 'sincere hunger' for more items like this. If you enjoyed checking out three soundalikes, you'll really love checking out five soundalikes! Because five is more than three!
I went back into the Y! Music vault and there between the data telling me where everyone who works here lives and the data telling me how much my co-workers are paid and which part of the Yahoo! compound they are legally entitled to when they turn 65, I found the information regarding every song ever recorded. I spent the new few weeks listening to every song in the database and discovered just how much I like The Incredible String Band and 1980s-era Rod Stewart.
In the meantime, these songs came screaming to my door. Thy name might not be ripoff, per se, but the results are uncomfortably familiar.
Well, don't assume anything, folks. Gigs have been canceled, aside from perhaps a new career playing for…the Westboro Baptist Church. Of course, Shocked would be best served in therapy where she could work out where this self-destructive behavior took root.
In the meantime, rushing to delete Michele Shocked songs from your playlists is likely on your agenda, lest her "Anchorage" song suddenly pop up during a party and ruin it with heavy discussions about the meaning of life and who's Michelle Shocked. ("Anchorage" is the only song I know of hers.)
Let's find five artists to replace Michelle Shocked on your playlists.
5) Trixie Whitley -- "Breathe You In My Dreams": Talent runs though the Whitley bloodline. The daughter of the late Texas bluesman Chris Whitley, a restless musician who rebelled against easy definition, Trixie is proving just as artistically ambitious. Her time as the lead singer for Daniel Lanois' supergroup Black Dub provided her with the experience and the confidence to find her own voice and now she's laying her soul bare night after night.
- Rob O' Connor at SXSW9 mths ago
For anyone attending the annual South By Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas the week of March 12, the decisions are painstaking. Who do you miss, so you can see someone else? You can't see everything, but here are the big names who you likely don't want to miss this Thursday.
1) Meat Puppets, Dave Grohl, and the Sound City Players, 8pm, Stubb's - If you're up at 11am, then you should be at the Austin Convention Center for Dave Grohl's SXSW keynote address. But at night, it's time for rock's friendliest superstar to invite the Meat Puppets to open and then for Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Nirvana's Krist Novoselic, Rick Springfield, Fear's Lee Ving, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Rage Against The Machine's Brad Wilk, Slipnot's Corey Taylor, and more to play at what is the festival's craziest, most star-studded concert. If you end up having grandkids, you'll be telling them about this one.
- Rob O' Connor at SXSW9 mths ago
For anyone attending the annual South By Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas the week of March 12, the decisions are painstaking. Who do you miss so you can see someone else? A Green Day fan who also loves the Flaming Lips and Depeche Mode will know this catch-22 all too well come this Friday.
But before then, for your convenience, here are the big names playing this Wednesday. Mark your calendars and go out there and help keep Austin weird!
1) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds/Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 7:45pm, Stubb's - Will Karen O be this year's PJ Harvey and toy with Nick Cave for a duet, or will Cave insist on bringing his best album in years, the brooding Push The Sky Away , to the cognoscenti in its purest, most unadulterated form? Either way, Yeah Yeah Yeahs will surely burn down the house--figuratively, of course--with previews from their upcoming April release Mosquito . And Cave will be Nick Cave, the creepiest and coolest guy in the business.