You Can Listen to the New Weezer Single…but Only By Becoming a ‘Human Record Player’

In one of the most Weezer moves ever, the band have given fans the chance to hear their new single Records before its release next week – but you’re gonna have to work for it…

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Video of the Week: Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing (Live Aid 1985)

Dire Straits’ performance of “Sultans of Swing” at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid in 1985 was as good as any band’s performance at that concert–including Queen.

Let The Debates Begin: A List of Lists

(via Culture Sonar) by JEFF POLLACK

In all my years around music (and now documentaries) I’ve viewed “best” lists with skepticism. How is it possible for so many people to get it wrong? My guess is that politics and friendship play a role in many selections. I also think that “legendary status” places some bands much higher in people’s esteem because it’s almost expected that they belong there. John Ford said, “When you have to choose between history and legend, print the legend.” It reminds me of the prodigy in Thomas Mann’s classic Das Wunderkind, a boy who knew his “legend” was more important than his performance. And so it is with many good — but not great — artists, whose body of work doesn’t survive close scrutiny, nor compare favorably to other artists.

Ten years ago, I wrote a column for Huff Post about what I considered the 10 best bands of all time. At the time I wrote the piece, I stated that the selection for a slot on a top 10 list “has to be more than that you grew up listening to them, saw them live in concert at a formative age, that the critics think they’re great or that you just like them.”

I created criteria for establishing a particular artist or band’s place on any all-time list: the body of work, originality, lyrics that matter, some commercial success, ability to play live, and most importantly, music that stands the test of time. Nostalgia doesn’t have a seat at this table nor does “legendary” status. So several bands from my original list have fallen off this new one because there are other, better bands.

Here are the best of all time. Let the arguments begin…

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Ann Wilson Reveals the Meaning Behind 7 Heart Album Titles

photo credit: via BrokenHeartedToy

(via Goldmine magazine) by Martin Popoff

In celebration of her smartly titled recent solo album, Fierce BlissGoldmine asked classic rock icon Ann Wilson to divulge the meaning behind the titles of a few albums by her old band Heart.

Magazine (1977)

Magazine was my idea. There was a whole theme behind it, where all the songs were going to be like articles in a magazine all tied together. There was going to be a booklet that was shot like a really cool artistic fashion magazine. And not just fashion, but news and stuff like that that we would make up. It was a whole project, but then the legal thing happened and we never got to make good on it. But that was a really good idea. The Magazine album did end up coming out but it was kind of piecemeal.”

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Recommended Albums #86

The Left Banke: Strangers On a Train (1978/1986)

Sometimes the spell of enchantment cast by a band’s music belies the tumult of the creative process.

The Left Banke, led by 17-year-old songwriter/pianist/whiz kid Michael Brown and his father, producer/arranger Harry Lookofsky, pioneered so-called baroque pop with a pair of gorgeous mid-60’s hits–“Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina”–inlaid with the sounds of harpsichord, woodwinds, and a small string section.

The music was as innovative as it was sublime.

But the band’s short lifespan is testament to the fact that all was not harmonious in the studio.

Brown left during the recording of their second album, frustrated by the challenges of reproducing their complex sound live with young and inexperienced bandmates.

And his bandmates were frustrated with Brown, who wasn’t the easiest guy to get along with.

But like other bands who produced enduring and seminal work, the Left Banke had an extended afterlife, including short-lived reunions, one-off singles and even commercial jingles.

Strangers On a Train (titled Voices Calling in Britain) was recorded sans Brown by the remaining trio of vocalist Steve Martin-Caro, drummer George Cameron and bassist Tim Finn. The recordings are from 1978, though the album didn’t see release until ten years later.

Finn had signed a publishing deal with Camex music and recruited his former bandmates to fill out his demos at the suggestion of the company, who encouraged him to turn it into a Left Banke project.

It’s notable that Finn never considered the recordings to be “finished” even when released in ’86 under the Left Banke name.

George Cameron, Steve Martin-Caro, Tom Finn

That said, Strangers On a Train is worth hearing for fans of Badfinger, Big Star and even the Raspberries.

“Hold On Tight” could be an Eric Carmen power pop rave-up from ’72.

“And One Day” is a delicate, heart-tugging ballad of lost love featuring Martin-Caro’s McCartney-esque delivery.

And “Only My Opinion” lands squarely in Badfinger/Big Star territory, with tasty guitar fills and plaintive vocals.

The 2022 re-release of the album includes 6 additional tracks–Michael Brown demos recorded with Steve Martin-Caro on vocals–offering a tantalizing glimpse at what might have been had the band reunited one last time.

A moot point since Steve Martin-Caro and Tom Finn died in 2020, following George Cameron’s passing in 2018 and Michael Brown’s in 2015.

But the 1978 recordings–despite Michael Brown’s absence and the fact that the band had moved on from its trademark 60’s baroque pop adornments–sounds like a lost piece of the 70’s pop rock story.

If you miss that sound and have worn out your too-small collection of Badfinger and Big Star records, here’s some new old music for you.

Listen to: “Hold On Tight”

Listen to: “And One Day”

Listen to: “Only My Opinion”

Rumor and Sigh: An Appreciation of Richard Thompson’s Solo Albums

(via Allmusic) By Daniel de Visé 

Fifty years ago, in June 1972, Richard Thompson released his first solo album, the magnificent Henry the Human Fly. It sounded like a record of British folk standards, but Richard had written the songs himself.

Several lazy months later, Warner Brothers issued Henry the Human Fly in the States. A handful of folkie “weirdos” – Richard’s term – snatched up copies. It may be the poorest-selling record in Warner history.

“As rare as hen’s teeth,” Richard said, in an interview with AllMusic. “Promoted zero, and not a suitable record for the American audience, really, because it’s far too parochial, far too British. Worst-selling ever, in which I take great pride.”

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Video of the Week: Richard Thompson Performs ‘I Feel So Good’ on Letterman, 1991

Songs You May Have Missed #731

Kings of Convenience: “I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From” (2001)

From Kevin Maidment’s album review:

Although Kings of Convenience are keen to play down any blatantly self-evident similarities to Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, and Belle and Sebastian, the winsome and placidity-favoring Norwegian duo of Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe have probably already got the subway buskers of tomorrow lining up to lend an ear. Studentlike in appearance (one of them has a duffel coat and John Major specs) and unashamed to softly impart such nonrock lyrics as “put the kettle on” and “using The Guardian as a shield to cover my thighs against the rain,” the weightless and airy acoustic guitar muse of Quiet Is the New Loud isn’t a million miles from Radiohead’s “Nice Dream” or Pink Floyd’s “If” with a subliminal swish of bossa-nova rhythm. A contentedly purring cello, a plaintive touch of piano, and the muffled sound of a trumpet add necessary sonic depth, and the results are as pleasant and civilized as a little light conversation over tea in the drawing room. But what a shame they chose to name themselves after a lavatory.

See also:

See also:

See also:

Quora: George Harrison Was Said to Have a Long Running Argument with Ringo Starr. What Was it About?

(via Quora) Answered by Shawn M. Winterich

George had an affair with Ringo’s wife, Maureen. It went on for months. Apple exec Peter Brown first wrote about it in “The Love You Make” in the 1980s, and band members and associates who commented dismissed his work as sensationalistic trash. It wasn’t: truth was a defense. Then Pattie Harrison wrote about the affair in her book about 20 years later (“Wonderful Tonight”), after speaking with Ringo first…

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Jomo & The Possum Posse Go Viral with ‘Guy On a Buffalo’

Austin-based sardonic honkytonk band Jomo & the Possum Posse have created a new art form: songs written to accompany movie clips.

About a guy on a buffalo. From the 1978 film Buffalo Rider.

You’ve never seen it. It doesn’t matter.

The ‘Guy on a Buffalo’ music clips have been viewed about 30 million times more than the movie.

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