Notes, December 2019 Edition

I love talking about music. I specifically love sharing it and hearing about it. There are a small number of people that just have this gift of direct soul-to-soul communication, while the rest of us languish under the burden of having our truest and deepest feelings trapped behind walls, isolated in the silos of our selves. The music those rare few create is like a secret language the rest of us can use, messages in bottles thrown from one island to another, and the more music you know about, the more of that language you can use. So here you go!

Romantic Warrior, by Return to Forever. There is a really strong chance that you’ve never heard anything like this. I’m not even sure how I’d describe it if I were trying to connect it to something you’ve already heard. It’s jazz/rock fusion, but that description falls so short. This is impossible music; if I described to you the notes and structure independently you’d never believe it could be as good as it is. It puts you in the mindset to remember a great story.

Why Me? Why Not., by Liam Gallagher. Yeah, I’m definitely a sucker for good heavy blues rock, but Liam Gallagher is putting a spin on it that’s different than a lot of what I’ve heard from the genre recently. For one, he doesn’t overly rely on the heavy riffs to carry the song; the lyrics are great and his voice has a sort of Sgt. Pepper quality that I really like. He also puts in some weird sounds that you don’t hear in a lot of blues rock, especially over his voice. It’s like if Paul McCartney wrote and sang on an album with The Black Keys.

Cheap Thrills, by Big Brother and The Holding Company. The last album from this band with the incredible Janis Joplin singing lead (she started her solo career shortly after). This features my favorite Janis song ever, Piece of my Heart (though credit where it’s due – that’s a cover of an Erma Franklin song!), but the rest of the album is just as powerful. This is the sort of music that the modern currents of the music industry just can’t produce anymore, so enjoy it – it won’t come again.

Villains, by Jonathan Young. Jonathan Young is this fantastic metal singer who covers songs from movies, television themes, or Broadway hits in this incredibly cool metal style. This isn’t deep, it’s just fun as all heck. He’s not only a great musician, but he has a perfect understanding of what makes a song “cool” and knows how to amplify those aspects. This is an album where he specifically covers a bunch of great villain tunes, and it’s just awesome. Pick your favorite song off the track list and give it a listen, you’ll be hooked.

tryhard, by The Band CAMINO. This is really fun music. It’s a modern update of a lot of the best aspects of synth-pop from the 80’s, and the upbeat sort of “dance ballads” that came out of the early 2000’s. It’s kind of like A-ha and The Postal Service doing a thing together, with maybe a little Weezer thrown in. There was a time in the late 90’s when I really didn’t like what pop music was becoming, and I kind of always hoped it would turn into something like this. I’m glad it did.

Listen to something new today – add a few more words to your vocabulary in the language of the universe. You won’t regret it. And as always, share more with me!

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