Sunday, November 9, 2014

Obscure Albums

I've been very negligent coming here lately but do need to add something.  Using the powers of delegation I found a list of the "Best Albums You Have Never Heard Of" which can be found here:

Best Albums Never Heard

Are they really?  In the age of Spotify and YouTube its not to hard to check out these recommendations.

This is possibly the laziest post I have ever ever made.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Watershed - 5th of July

Tonight I was supposed to be out and about seeing the Mavericks but I'm sick, really sick.  Some sort of respiratory infection that's making the rounds.  We were supposed to go with Bubba and Laurie but Bubba went to ZZTop last night and now has food poisoning from road food.  So Laurie and Mrs. Obscurity sold Bubba and I's tickets online (at cost) and will be sitting with strangers.  I am waiting for a pizza.

In the interim, as I pass 45 plus minutes waiting for the pizza, I can sit and cough in the living room or sit in my office and cough and type so without further adieu...

I purchased Joe Oestreich's book "Hitless Wonder: Life in minor league rock and roll" and am currently reading a second time through.  A beautiful  read and he actually achieved the level of "stardom" that I aspire to, seeing how I aspire to be being obscure, but a little less obscure than I currently am.  I never heard of Watershed least I didn't think I had.

YouTube has taken all the stress out of searching for something and all the risk out of purchasing music one has never heard of.  So, to put some perspective on the book (i.e. what does this band I am reading about sound like), I searched and found several videos, including 5th of July.  I saw this video before.  Where?  Not a clue.  I just remember being blown away by the uber-coolness of it.  Fast forward from 2004 to 2013 and it is truly a crime that there are less than 2000 listens so far.

The setting is that they are playing a concert from within a semi trailer.  Watershed has two vocalists and Oestreich takes the lead.  5th of July is a perfect summer song.  The song starts out slow then builds and builds into the scaling "I get all the boys and girls to sing along" and smacks us into the chorus with vocals flying all over the place.  The guitars buzz, the drum sticks spin, the bass pile drives in and out while Oestreich's high pitched vocals cut through.  It feels like that last shot at stardom that has eluded them throughout their career before moving into acceptance.  But damn, the defiance is glorious.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Belle Plaine: Live at the Lyric Theatre

"We should go out tonight!"

The original plan was to go out for dinner and drinks with friends.

I was thinking on and off for a couple of months about seeing Belle Plaine and, at 1:30 p.m. called to see if there were any tickets left.  There happened to be 4 so with my wife's credit card, we were the ones to make the show a sell-out.

I usually play hockey Saturdays but since I tore up my left shoulder a couple of weeks before then had a major wipe out skiing and messed up my back, I had the night off of the rink.  The kids had nothing going on and so the world was wide open and sitting at home was not an option on this rare, obligation free Saturday night.

We had dinner, we had drinks and we were there for the door opening and I claimed my favorite table at the Lyric.  We had more drinks.  Bubba and I harassed the sound man, had more drinks and then I bought two t-shirts (one for my wife) and a cd.  Then we had more drinks.

As an aside, I started out with the "imported beer" at the lyric, Stella Artois.  After three or so I switched to the unhip Coors Lite, commenting that Stella tasted like a skunked bud.  Turns out Stella is brewed domestically by Budweiser.

Aside aside, the stage had a lot of gear and a lot of mics on it.  The sound man, Ray, said that Belle Plaine brought seven musicians with her.  Not bad for a $25.00 ticket.

At pretty much exactly nine Belle Plaine hit the stage and opened with a 5 piece band and played "Legendary" from her 2011 album "Notes from a Waitress."  Her vocals and the bands sound sound straight out of the girl bands from the 60's mixed with a lot jazz elements with a twinge of country thrown in.  Soon the horn section showed up adding another dimension to the entire sound.

Throughout the night musicians came and left the stage, presenting songs as a two piece to eight piece band.  The transitions were absolutely seamless.  She mentioned on stage of an upcoming live album and, when bothering Ray, I noticed a Zoom recorder hooked up to the soundboard so perhaps part of this night may make it top the final copy.

Belle Plaine had a laid back banter and told engaging stories to introduce each song throughout possessing an uncanny ability to make the audience feel that they were her best friends.

The only drawback to the night was the rest home must have called as a pack of grey hairs simultaneously stood up at 11 p.m. sharp and marched out the doors.

We were there for the long haul and it was a great way to spend a Saturday night.

Belle Plaine and I, its amazing what musicians have to put with

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hiatus and I

I'm going on a bit of a hiatus and I feel kind of bad about it.  I have recently gone to some great concerts by the not very obscure Paul McCartney and Platinum Blonde.  The Platinum ones show was actually one of the best shows I have ever attended due to the opening act (Ricasso) almost blowing the headliners off the stage, the recovery from a great opening act, the lack of venue preparedness, the band itself and a multitude of strange things that can happen at a concert.  Add in a half empty venue and several bar stops = no line ups and easy access to a lot of liquor!

I also have a slew of cds from (gasp) 2013 to review, including the new Polyphonic Spree which is just so incredible that I listened to it three times in a row, on my Discman in my backyard and I accidently got bombed and  it was like the greatest introverted night I have had in eons. 

So why the hiatus?  Way too lazy to write it up but it is explained on my main site:

If I need a break from my diversion, I may try and get something up but until then, toodoloo my three readers!  Please come back when I return...please ;-)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wild Flag: Romance

In my continuing series where I am listening to and reviewing one song from Scott Miller’s "Music: What Happened" for the years between 2003 to 2011.  This will be the final post in this series as I am in 2011.

Ex Sleater Kinney Carrie Brown and Mary Timony (Helium: whose song  `Superball`was on MTV a fair amount when I lived in the USA) put this infectious pop classic together.  I was kind of lucky growing up.  My teens and early 20's involved the horrendous 80's so thank the Lord I did the "drop in, drop out, drop in" college route and I spent the early 90's back in University, which is the best place to be exposed to the best music.

Wild Flag retains the 90`s girl band sound of the Breeders, Throwing Muses, Liz Phair, et al.  They may be a little older, a little thicker but aren't all of us children of the 90's?  They even retained that weak thin distortionless lead popular mid 94.  I hated that sound then but now the nostalgia is kind of cool. 

And that wraps up my tribute to Scott Miller and his book "Music" What Happened."  I really recommend popping by his website and picking it up:

Next Posts:
So much has happened this summer.  I bought a ton of cd's, some of them from (gasp) 2013 to review, attended a few concerts, including one of my childhood heroes, Paul McCartney, and fell in love with "Wings" all over again and read a few books.  I almost caught Sweet (US) in concert as well (another childhood hero) and may write up some thoughts on missing that.  See my original post: to what both of these bands meant to me. 

Deer Hunter: Helicopter (2010)

In my continuing series where I am listening to and reviewing one song from Scott Miller’s "Music: What Happened" for the years between 2003 to 2011.  In this post, I find myself in 2010

I own a lot of what Miller reviewed in 2010 and 2011 so it seems this was the point where I came out of my musical coma and started listening to and buying music again.

In 2010, my fave release was probably Deer Hunter's Halcyon Days and its song "Helicopter" was the stand out track.  Dark beyond dark lyrics that barely stay above the murky mix and thick instrumentation makes this a hard act to follow.


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Orange Peels: 2020

The Orange Peels: 2020 (2009)

In my continuing series where I am listening to and reviewing one song from Scott Miller’s "Music: What Happened" for the years between 2003 to 2011.  In this post, I find myself in 2009.

Lookie here, in the video there’s Scott Miller with the Orange Peels plugging his book and as of today there has been 58 views.  Good power pop I don’t even need to review as Scott Miller reads his review in the attached clip.  Lazy days for me.