Monday, February 19, 2018

Eat That Question

This Zappa instrumental has one major strength going for it: George Duke. His keyboards are spectacularly groovy, and the song fits his playing style perfectly. The Grand Wazoo was released in 1972, and the song Eat That Question featured Ansley Dunbar on drums and Alex Dmochowski on bass as well as George Duke. Dunbar has played with David Bowie as well as playing drums on Berlin, my favorite Lou Reed album. But today we are listening to Frank Zappa and Eat That Question.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Black Napkins

Zoot Allures was a fantastic Zappa album. It features two instrumentals - yesterday's Zoot Allures and today's Black Napkins, and they are both great - they are by far my favorite Zappa instrumentals along with Peaches En Regalia and tomorrow's song. Sometimes guitar solos get boring - even Zappa's solos, but this one hits me hard every time I hear it. Still featuring Terry Bozzio on drums, this song also features Napoleon Murphy Brook on vocals, Roy Estrada on bass and vocals, and Andrè Lewis on organ. I still consider this an instrumental, as the vocals are only ooohs. This one is more laid back and straightforward than yesterday's title track - I hope you like it!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Zoot Allures

It's time to curse in French today. Zoot Allures is the name of a Frank Zappa album from 1976 - and it was the first Frank Zappa album I heard. Today's song is an instrumental - the title track - and it features Frank Zappa on lead guitar, the mighty Terry Bozzio on drums, the wonderful Ruth Underwood on marimba, Dave Parlato, who only played with Zappa for a limited time, on bass, and whenever you hear a harp, it is played by Lu Ann Neil.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Moonlight Shadow

The song today was a huge hit in Europe in 1983. It reached the top of the Norwegian charts, and it is one of my favorite songs from 35 years ago. Mike Oldfield wasn't known to me before this song, and for a while it was the only song I knew of his. That is until my friend Geir let me borrow the album The Complete Mike Oldfield, which was (and still is) one of the most excellent compilation albums I have ever heard, mainly because of the thematic division. On a double vinyl, each section got one side - so you had the instrumental, vocal, complex, and live sections. The complex section was a stroke of genius, as he had a tendency of having at least one major work spanning at least one whole side of the album for his early records, and by finding representative excerpts from them, they were not excluded from consideration based on length alone.

Then I started spending a lot of time with Vegard, another dear friend of mine, and he was a huge fan of Mike Oldfield - and I got even more exposed to his music. And lately, Mike Oldfield has provided a lot of music to play while I work - and while instrumental songs work, today's song, Moonlight Shadow, really gets me going. The singer is Maggie Reilly, and her voice is very distinctive and appears frequently on Mike Oldfield's albums. However, what really gets to me here is the guitar solo. He is a great guitarist - and it isn't necessarily the technical aspects that get me as much as it is the texture he creates in the way he plays around the melody. And then there is his tone. He has a unique guitar tone that just hits me really hard. I can loop this song for a day and not grow tired of it - that is how good I believe it is.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Skägget (The Beard)

So the opening line says it all... "I would like to kiss you but there's something in the way" - and that's what she said... It's a fun song about the trials and tribulations of having a beard...The band is Den Fule (The Ugly One) from Sweden, and the song is Skägget. Of course, the main character lets the girl shave him, but the last laugh is on him, as she screamed when she saw what he looked like underneath the beard. Den Fule existed through the 90s, and I found this song on the magnificent compilation Bergtagen, which has a lot of great songs by bands in the crossroads between folk/traditional music and rock/metal.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Into My Arms (for Christine)

It's Valentine's Day, and I have my Valentine...  I love my Christine. This is our fifth Valentine's Day - and this summer we will have been together for five years. I love you, Chris!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Today seems like a good day for Phish (I was going to say go phishing, but then I realized the cybercriminality association with that, so I tempered my statement). This weekend I found myself listening to this song in my mind quite a bit - it's a song I keep forgetting about, but it is quite the catchy tune. Phish has a reputation of being better live than in the studio - they are so clearly a live act more than anything else (although I only have live albums to confirm this - I haven't seen them live yet) - but I have liked the opening and title track from their 2000 album Farmhouse since I first heard it. The lyrics have never been their strong suit, and that is the case for this song as well, but there is something about the chorus here that really gets to me. I would say this is music for a cabin in the woods or mountains for late nights with a nice fire going in the fireplace and no electric lights - what we Norwegians call hyttekos. It is a nice and warm song and well worth listening to.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Retina Sees Rewind

Today’s song is by the band Cave-In, a pretty schizophrenic band with hardcore/mathcore (don’t ask) roots - but I have heard someone describe some of their songs as a harder, more metal Radiohead, which I think fits today’s song, which is on their Planets of Old EP, which I purchased on a whim at
Vertigo in Grand Rapids right after its release in 2009 based on recommendations from their staff. The song Retina Sees Rewind immediately stood out to me and just feels right today...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Curse of the Red Tide

Today song is a brand new gym in my collection. Yesterday, the first album from Legend of the Seagullmen was released digitally, and it is awesome. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to ask who or what Legend of the Seagullman is, but I can tell you that it is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.  Featuring Tool drummer Danny Carey and Mastodon guitar player Brent Hinds, along with members from Dethklok, this is indeed a metal supergroup. However,  while the music indeed has metal roots, it is infused with a heavy dash of psychedelia and an even heavier dash of humor. They have the groove from Tool, the psychedelia from Mastodon and the humor from Primus. Imagine churning those three bands through a blender and send the new band to Bikini Bottom as the house band at the Krusty Krab (yes, the Spongebob reference is mandatory here). I am blown away. Enjoy the Curse of the Red Tide.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Little Drop Of Poison

Sometimes you go to a kids movie and get blown away by the music selection. To me, that happened back in 2004, when I went to see Shrek 2. There was a piano in a dark alley bar, and the voice was unmistakeable - it was Tom Waits. And the song was Little Drop of Poison, which I did not know at the time. I finally picked it up on an album when I picked up his Orphans box set - and I thought it would be great to finish the working week up with a Little Drop of Poison...