Notes, April 2020 Edition

Hello everyone! I’ve got some music I’d like to share with you. As usual, there’s no method to my madness – just albums I think you may enjoy.

Boston, by Boston. Boston came out of the gate hot in 1976 with this album, and I don’t think they ever produced something that was as wall-to-wall fantastic. Boston at times seemed to put out music that would seem physically impossible for other artists, especially Brad Delp’s vocals and Tom Scholz’s… well, everything. When I talk about bands like Boston, sometimes I worry that I’m not exactly shining a light into an obscure corner, but then I remember one of my favorite scenes from the movie Role Models, where Wheeler tells Ronnie about KISS for the first time. I think about that scene and remember that no matter how famous a band already is, there’s someone who’s never heard their magic. Maybe today I’m the Wheeler to your Ronnie (extremely NSFW link, but hilarious movie), and that would be awesome.

Fly Like An Eagle, by Steve Miller Band. Steve Miller has a really great handle on how to make music seem effortlessly cool. This is the kind of Americana “driving music” that creates a great backdrop for fun adventures, great and small. There’s something on this album to serve as a soundtrack for almost anything you’re doing, and you’ll be slightly cooler doing it.

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), by Wu-Tang Clan. The genius of this album has allowed it to burrow into the collective consciousness of our culture for decades since its release. One of, if not the most influential of all hip-hop albums, Wu-Tang Clan’s debut combines raw, incredible music with humor, depth, and Wuxia film references. I definitely didn’t grow up in hip-hop culture, but even I understood how great this album was, proving that great music can truly transcend all barriers.

Rumours, by Fleetwood Mac. Dear lord, I love Stevie Nicks. This album is incredible, and its one of those albums that gets better every single time you listen to it. Despite their focus on making a more pop-style album, there are subtleties to songs that wash over you the deeper you go. “Go Your Own Way” has a certain almost euphoric quality to it; when I really close my eyes and listen to it, it feels like its driving tension out of my neck and shoulders. Anyway, it turns out that if you get a bunch of really talented musicians together and really let them sink into drug- and hedonism-fueled debauchery and pain, what might come out on the other side is one of the best albums ever. The band didn’t come out the same on the other side of recording this album, and you can hear it.

Has Been, by William Shatner. Yeah, that’s right! Okay, so hear me out. Shatner is hilarious; one of the things that makes him so funny is that he’s clearly in on the joke and having a great time. He voiced himself in a hilariously self-referential episode of Futurama (one of the best, actually), and he recorded this album of his spoken-word-combined-with-music tracks, produced by Ben Folds. Before you judge, go listen to the first track – a cover of Pulp’s “Common People.” It might be the greatest song you hear this month. It’s definitely the best song on the album, though the whole thing is surprisingly better than you think it’ll be.

That’s it for this month’s entry. As always, I love to hear what you’re listening to – music connects us and inspires us to connect even further. I hope you’re listening to something good.

One thought on “Notes, April 2020 Edition

  1. Holy cow, you’re speaking my language this month. That’s a hot Boston album. Foreplay>Long Time.

    I was just enjoying Fly Like an Eagle and its off-beat bass parts last week.

    My band, unpracticed since quarantine, actually plays Rhiannon – the Stevie Nicks yodeler about being a witch from Rumors (that’s my cut and paste Stevie Nicks review). We love that album.

    I like the idea behind these posts. And enjoy reading them.


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