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Old 07-18-2012, 12:31 AM   #121
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That was lovely.

You've inspired me to go back and listen to everything.

I did get to see Alex Chilton around the time of Feudalist Tarts. I used to have Ti Ni Nee Ni Nooo on my answering machine.
/old
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:55 AM   #122
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I'm woefully ignorant when it comes to the solo projects of Big Star members, although I must say that Chris Bell's I Am The Cosmos album (more of a compilation, really) is astounding, right up there with Big Star's three releases. He was clearly responsible for their sound, as much as anyone was.

If you never hear anything else from the album, listen to these two, because they're out of this world:

Chris Bell - I Am the Cosmos - YouTube

Chris Bell - You and your Sister - YouTube

Speed of Sound, another sweet tune, was in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Crap film, but any exposure for these songs is a good thing.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:02 PM   #123
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That was a nice post about Big Star. I've listened to a few songs by them and really like them so far.

Beneath the spoiler is something I wrote recently, a sort of gushing, that I don't feel comfortable with just posting visibly (mostly because it reads more like an album review than an expression of my love for the album).

 
It was only this year and a few months ago (two months, to be exact) that I discovered one of the most emotionally stirring albums I've ever heard, along with one of my favorite musicians ever- Us by Peter Gabriel. Us is not my favorite Peter Gabriel album, from what I've heard so far (that would be So, although I've only heard three complete albums so I'm not sure if I can make a good decision yet), but if it makes any sense, it's probably the best that I've heard so far. Us is an entire album of human emotions, held together by a common theme- that of relationships, be it those between two people (the most common variation of this theme on the album) or larger ones.
The main songs on Us that really grab me and exemplify the theme of relationships are Come Talk To Me, Love To Be Loved, Washing of the Water, and Secret World. Come Talk To Me is undoubtedly my favorite track on the album. It begins quietly, and then the drums and pipes kick in loudly, creating a raw sonic landscape. The song is supposedly about a father-daughter relationship, written in response to the growing distance between Peter and one of his daughters. It can also be interpreted as distance between two lovers, but the first interpretation is the one that I immediately understood, as the lyrics reminded me almost painfully of my then-relationship with my mother. "Won't you please talk to me? If you'd just come talk to me? We can unlock this misery, if you'll only talk to me." I've never been very good at communicating, and suddenly I could see things from my mother's viewpoint- wanting her child to explain to her what's going on. We've since become closer- I'm not saying that this song was a factor in helping that aspect of our relationship, but it might as well have been. Enough about me, more about the gorgeous music. Come Talk To Me is a glorious opening track, a "swirling, curling storm of" desperation and emotion. I can feel the loneliness in every word, a raw plea for connection through this "wretched desert." The instruments are also beautiful (I thought it almost sounded African the first time I heard it... African with European influences, more like, or the other way around) and the chorus features Sinead O'Connor, whose voice I adore and admire.
The next song, Love To Be Loved, is much calmer and softer, almost easy-listening. It describes a craving to be needed, liked, wanted, and loved- a longing to fit in somewhere. The middle section of the song changes drastically, taking my breath away and breaking my heart with the first of many tearjerking lines on Us: "This old familar craving. I've been here before, this way of behaving. Don't know who the hell I'm saving anymore. Let it pass, let it go, let it leave! From the deepest place I grieve. This time I believe. And I let go... I can let go of it. Though it takes all the strength in me, and all the world can see, I'm losing such a central part of me. I can let go of it." Those last two lines in particular really get me- "I'm losing such a central part of me," especially in the way that Peter sings it. He sounds truly regretful, torn between what he wants and what is best for him. The bridge section honestly cuts straight to my core.
Washing of the Water has a similar effect on me. It begins softly, fooling the listener into thinking it's nothing more than a contemplative piano-based lullaby... which it is, at least in the beginning. (Somewhat irrelevant sidenote- Peter's voice on certain lines reminds me of Chris Martin's voice, especially "Would you swallow me deep inside?") The lyrics are about a river, asking it to carry the narrator away, and the gentle rhythm lulls me into a false sense of calm. Then suddenly, triggered by the line "Let your waters reach me like she reached me tonight," the floodgates open. The middle section explodes from there, pouring out sheer pain. "Letting go, it's so hard, the way it's hurting now to get this love untied. But I'll have to stay with this thing, cause if I follow through, I face what I denied. I'll get those hooks out of me, and I'l take out the hooks that I sunk deep in your side. Kill that fear with emptiness, loneliness I hide." Now those are some of the saddest, most truthful, and most painful lyrics I have ever heard. The entire bridge section makes me want to cry. I feel so sorry for anyone who's ever felt that way, which of course includes Peter Gabriel, because he wrote the song. It's one of the saddest breakup songs I've ever heard.
The last track on Us is much more uplifting- Secret World. It is quiet and dreamy, with atmospheric synths. It's also my second favorite song on the album. In my opinion, the lyrics tell of a couple who have been togehter for a long time and are momentarily separated- "In this house of make believe, divided in two like Adam and Eve. You put out and I receive." The lyrics are rich with moments of brilliance, such as "So I watch you wash your hair, underwater, unaware. And the plane flies through the air," which may sound mundane but makes so much sense in the context of the song. I occasionally just feel like quoting every line from this song, it's that good. One line I particularly admire the use of is "What was it we were thinking of?", because I ask myself that question all the time. Towards the end, the song bubbles into a more upbeat synth solo. I love to listen to this song as I fall asleep. When I leave my eyes open, the lights of the cars going by outside my window seem to stream down my wall in perfectly orchestrated movements, and when I close my eyes, my mind and the music melt into each other, creating a bridge between me and the song. It's an amazing moment every time, and always relaxes me enough to sleep. The live version of Secret World from 1993 was also stunningly gorgeous- on the third repetition of "What was it we were thinking of?", the lights began flashing and Peter and everyone else standing onstage began spinning in a circle. It is filmed beautifully on the concert DVD Secret World Live, or Peter Gabriel's Secret World, if you want to see an example.
The songs in between the tracks I've highlighted are not quite as good as the above, but all have their own merit. The two most rocking songs are Steam, a watered down version of Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel's biggest hit) and Kiss That Frog, a fun song with excellent sexual innuendo. Blood of Eden is another calming, beautiful track in the vein of Love To Be Loved, and Only Us is enjoyable, albeit with some lyrical dissonance. Fourteen Black Paintings is the only song on the album that doesn't have to do with the relationship between two people; it is more of a mood piece about the relationship between the government and its people (in my opinion). Digging In The Dirt is a dark, angry song about therapy that comes directly after Washing of the Water, moving fluidly from grief to anger.
All of the songs on Us are lovely, and the album should be listened to as a whole. I know this is starting to sound more like a review than a "gushing of love," but I'm not very good at expressing just how deeply this music touches me. It's a cohesive, painful album with true moments of greatness, and it is emotionall cleansing and therapeutic, healing me from the inside. Most of the song on Us are the most played songs on my iPod, because I just can't get enough of hearing it. I can't just listen to a few songs- when I listen, I listen to the entire album. I'm slightly proud that this was the first album I heard by Peter Gabriel, because not only did it introduce me to his music, but it is a real work of art.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:27 PM   #124
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A good record store is hard to find. As the market for physical music continues to erode, a great one has become nothing short of an epiphany. I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit over the last five years; one of my rituals is to make a stop at the local record stores of whatever city I happen to be visiting. Across London, New York, Paris, Barcelona, Boston, and many others, I am lucky that the finest record store that I have yet found is in the city I now call home. That store is Reckless Records of Wicker Park, Chicago.

I vividly remember my first visit. My girlfriend and I had just parked the car outside Wicker Park and now turned onto Milwaukee toward the Blue Line to go to O’Hare. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the store front, alight in neon letters and decorated with vinyl covers. Thirty minutes later, and despite my meager graduate school stipend, I had emerged with fifty dollars’ worth of used CDs, most of them from Miles Davis, whose discography I was avidly collecting at the time. From that point on, Reckless was one of my top priorities whenever I visited Chicago. Its allure grew with the several positive associations it developed for me: it was often a harbinger of flights from O’Hare; it was routinely followed by a visit to one of my favorite Chicago eateries (R.I.P., Earwax); and it was my first stop after I nailed the interview for what would become my first professional job. And now that I live in Chicago, it is a site of frequent visit, most enjoyably by bike during the lively summer months.

Reckless distinguishes itself from all other record stores in two primary respects: clientele and depth of selection. The two actually are closely intertwined. Denizens of Reckless are not casual music fans. These are people with knowledge and passion. It is common to hear two people, often widely separated in age, talking animatedly in the jazz section about the likes of Ornette Coleman or in the blues section about Son House. Some street-worn but jovial individual is usually regaling the staff with tales of underground Chicago concerts from 1972 or how that person was at the Metro show on the recent reissue of whatever 90s act is currently making their catalogue available again. People in line are debating whether Thom Yorke will ever release that damn Atoms for Peace album. In short, it is a haphazard but amiable group of people united by love of music.

Such conversations are made possible by the collection, which really is without peer. The jazz section is perhaps the best evidence in this regard. Most record stores will carry a few titles by Miles Davis, a few from Coltrane, and maybe something from Diana Krall. At Reckless, however, you will find not only recent issues, but also deep cuts from almost any artist you can imagine. Thad Jones? He’s there. Donald Byrd? He’s there as well. Nina Simone? There in abundance. A rare pressing of Kenny Dorham performing in San Francisco with Jackie McLean? I found it there. The city’s rich jazz (and blues) heritage is present on the shelves, and the energy of the people looking through the racks attests to the appreciation that they have for that artistry.

The prospect of discovery is another major part of the allure. I recently went in looking for a copy of Surfer Rosa; I emerged with a rare version containing the Come on Pilgrim EP as well. I went in looking for Nick Cave’s Let Love In; I left with a $7 copy of Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus as well. I ask what is playing over the speakers; I am informed that it is an act called Flying Saucer Attack, and it turns out they have some damn fine albums. Rarely have I left without placing a few new items on my wish list.

The treasure-trove nature of Reckless for a serious music fan can be something of a hazard, especially as it is open late enough to allow semi-drunken visits. In fact, a great deal of my Waits collection, in an act that I think the man himself would appreciate, was acquired during one rather inebriated trip to Reckless. Yet I have never regretted or second-guessed a dollar that I have spent there. In a market in which music is becoming increasingly ephemeral, Reckless is a haven for those of us who still see music as a tangible piece of our lives and as a force that can bring people together.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:00 PM   #125
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That was a nice post about Big Star. I've listened to a few songs by them and really like them so far.

Beneath the spoiler is something I wrote recently, a sort of gushing, that I don't feel comfortable with just posting visibly (mostly because it reads more like an album review than an expression of my love for the album).

 
It was only this year and a few months ago (two months, to be exact) that I discovered one of the most emotionally stirring albums I've ever heard, along with one of my favorite musicians ever- Us by Peter Gabriel. Us is not my favorite Peter Gabriel album, from what I've heard so far (that would be So, although I've only heard three complete albums so I'm not sure if I can make a good decision yet), but if it makes any sense, it's probably the best that I've heard so far. Us is an entire album of human emotions, held together by a common theme- that of relationships, be it those between two people (the most common variation of this theme on the album) or larger ones.
The main songs on Us that really grab me and exemplify the theme of relationships are Come Talk To Me, Love To Be Loved, Washing of the Water, and Secret World. Come Talk To Me is undoubtedly my favorite track on the album. It begins quietly, and then the drums and pipes kick in loudly, creating a raw sonic landscape. The song is supposedly about a father-daughter relationship, written in response to the growing distance between Peter and one of his daughters. It can also be interpreted as distance between two lovers, but the first interpretation is the one that I immediately understood, as the lyrics reminded me almost painfully of my then-relationship with my mother. "Won't you please talk to me? If you'd just come talk to me? We can unlock this misery, if you'll only talk to me." I've never been very good at communicating, and suddenly I could see things from my mother's viewpoint- wanting her child to explain to her what's going on. We've since become closer- I'm not saying that this song was a factor in helping that aspect of our relationship, but it might as well have been. Enough about me, more about the gorgeous music. Come Talk To Me is a glorious opening track, a "swirling, curling storm of" desperation and emotion. I can feel the loneliness in every word, a raw plea for connection through this "wretched desert." The instruments are also beautiful (I thought it almost sounded African the first time I heard it... African with European influences, more like, or the other way around) and the chorus features Sinead O'Connor, whose voice I adore and admire.
The next song, Love To Be Loved, is much calmer and softer, almost easy-listening. It describes a craving to be needed, liked, wanted, and loved- a longing to fit in somewhere. The middle section of the song changes drastically, taking my breath away and breaking my heart with the first of many tearjerking lines on Us: "This old familar craving. I've been here before, this way of behaving. Don't know who the hell I'm saving anymore. Let it pass, let it go, let it leave! From the deepest place I grieve. This time I believe. And I let go... I can let go of it. Though it takes all the strength in me, and all the world can see, I'm losing such a central part of me. I can let go of it." Those last two lines in particular really get me- "I'm losing such a central part of me," especially in the way that Peter sings it. He sounds truly regretful, torn between what he wants and what is best for him. The bridge section honestly cuts straight to my core.
Washing of the Water has a similar effect on me. It begins softly, fooling the listener into thinking it's nothing more than a contemplative piano-based lullaby... which it is, at least in the beginning. (Somewhat irrelevant sidenote- Peter's voice on certain lines reminds me of Chris Martin's voice, especially "Would you swallow me deep inside?") The lyrics are about a river, asking it to carry the narrator away, and the gentle rhythm lulls me into a false sense of calm. Then suddenly, triggered by the line "Let your waters reach me like she reached me tonight," the floodgates open. The middle section explodes from there, pouring out sheer pain. "Letting go, it's so hard, the way it's hurting now to get this love untied. But I'll have to stay with this thing, cause if I follow through, I face what I denied. I'll get those hooks out of me, and I'l take out the hooks that I sunk deep in your side. Kill that fear with emptiness, loneliness I hide." Now those are some of the saddest, most truthful, and most painful lyrics I have ever heard. The entire bridge section makes me want to cry. I feel so sorry for anyone who's ever felt that way, which of course includes Peter Gabriel, because he wrote the song. It's one of the saddest breakup songs I've ever heard.
The last track on Us is much more uplifting- Secret World. It is quiet and dreamy, with atmospheric synths. It's also my second favorite song on the album. In my opinion, the lyrics tell of a couple who have been togehter for a long time and are momentarily separated- "In this house of make believe, divided in two like Adam and Eve. You put out and I receive." The lyrics are rich with moments of brilliance, such as "So I watch you wash your hair, underwater, unaware. And the plane flies through the air," which may sound mundane but makes so much sense in the context of the song. I occasionally just feel like quoting every line from this song, it's that good. One line I particularly admire the use of is "What was it we were thinking of?", because I ask myself that question all the time. Towards the end, the song bubbles into a more upbeat synth solo. I love to listen to this song as I fall asleep. When I leave my eyes open, the lights of the cars going by outside my window seem to stream down my wall in perfectly orchestrated movements, and when I close my eyes, my mind and the music melt into each other, creating a bridge between me and the song. It's an amazing moment every time, and always relaxes me enough to sleep. The live version of Secret World from 1993 was also stunningly gorgeous- on the third repetition of "What was it we were thinking of?", the lights began flashing and Peter and everyone else standing onstage began spinning in a circle. It is filmed beautifully on the concert DVD Secret World Live, or Peter Gabriel's Secret World, if you want to see an example.
The songs in between the tracks I've highlighted are not quite as good as the above, but all have their own merit. The two most rocking songs are Steam, a watered down version of Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel's biggest hit) and Kiss That Frog, a fun song with excellent sexual innuendo. Blood of Eden is another calming, beautiful track in the vein of Love To Be Loved, and Only Us is enjoyable, albeit with some lyrical dissonance. Fourteen Black Paintings is the only song on the album that doesn't have to do with the relationship between two people; it is more of a mood piece about the relationship between the government and its people (in my opinion). Digging In The Dirt is a dark, angry song about therapy that comes directly after Washing of the Water, moving fluidly from grief to anger.
All of the songs on Us are lovely, and the album should be listened to as a whole. I know this is starting to sound more like a review than a "gushing of love," but I'm not very good at expressing just how deeply this music touches me. It's a cohesive, painful album with true moments of greatness, and it is emotionall cleansing and therapeutic, healing me from the inside. Most of the song on Us are the most played songs on my iPod, because I just can't get enough of hearing it. I can't just listen to a few songs- when I listen, I listen to the entire album. I'm slightly proud that this was the first album I heard by Peter Gabriel, because not only did it introduce me to his music, but it is a real work of art.
Enjoyed reading that. I haven't listened to Us in a million years but I remember having an experience with it when it first came out, too.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:05 PM   #126
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That store is Reckless Records of Wicker Park, Chicago.
Nice. Wish I'd known about this when I was in Chicago earlier this year. I had a record store like that in Virginia - speaking of Waits, as that is where I collected all of his records that had been released up until then. I really do miss the record store culture.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:01 PM   #127
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I've been to Reckless several times. It's my go-to for Record Store Day.

One of these days I'll walk in there with a hundred dollar bill and leave with a real treasure trove. Typically, I never have much to spend when I go.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:12 PM   #128
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Ah, iYup, you'd love Randy's if you should ever happen back to SLC. He has a separate room just for jazz.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:20 PM   #129
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Amoeba is easily the best record store I've ever visited. I've been to the Hollywood, Berkeley, and Haight-Ashbury stores and they are all outstanding.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:21 PM   #130
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My favorite record store is defunct, so I choose to not remember it or I'll cry myself to sleep.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:14 AM   #131
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Amoeba is easily the best record store I've ever visited. I've been to the Hollywood, Berkeley, and Haight-Ashbury stores and they are all outstanding.
Oh, yes. A trip to Amoeba is on my list of stuff to do when I get to the Bay.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:51 AM   #132
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Great post, iYup I will be sure to visit there should I ever make it to Chicago (I hope to). It sounds like a great place.

This is one of the worst things about Australia; places such a Reckless, Waterloo, Amoeba, do not exist. I would hate to know how much money I've spent in JBHiFi, but it is just a commercial electronics chain that sells CDs.

I went to the Amoebas one Haight St and Sunset Blvd and in those two trips I spent a combined eight hours browsing, and spent $450. I felt like I was in heaven.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:56 AM   #133
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This is one of the worst things about Australia; places such a Reckless, Waterloo, Amoeba, do not exist. I would hate to know how much money I've spent in JBHiFi, but it is just a commercial electronics chain that sells CDs.
Not a fan of Polyester, Missing Link, Pure Pop, or any of their ilk?

(I'm killing record stores because I prefer to order online.)
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:08 AM   #134
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What's a record store?
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:11 AM   #135
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Not a fan of Polyester, Missing Link, Pure Pop, or any of their ilk?

(I'm killing record stores because I prefer to order online.)
Polyester is cool, but tiny, and extremely over-priced. $25 for CDs.
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