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Showing posts from January, 2019

Explorations in Subgenres: Booze Rock

Jazz. Blues. Hip-hop. Names to describe musical genres. Really just labels to better catalog and locate the kind of music that gets our rocks off. It's why the typical answer of, "everything," to the eternal question, "what do you listen to?" is so maddening. It's never true and worse a thoughtless cop-out. Nobody can genuinely like everything. The ability to formulate distinctions is the very essence of taste. In the first installment of (what I hope) will be a recurring feature, Explorations in Subgenres, I'm pointing my spotlight onto a previously uncategorized style that falls between hard rock, southern rock, and blues rock: Booze Rock.

Picture yourself with your best pals in a southern-flavored dive, drinking and carrying on. The bottles are dusty but the liquor is clean. The wood paneling and beer on the floor assure that pretension has no place here. A rock 'n roll band has turned out and there's a dance party coming alive. This is booz…

Wharton's Weekly Albums #4: Week of December 31, 2018

Wharton's Weekly Albums #4: Week of December 31, 2018My weekly thoughts on the albums I listened to during last week's commute.
The Albums: Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper
*Electric Warrior, T. Rex
Silent Shout, The Knife
*an asterisk indicates that this is my first listen to this album
The Thoughts: Another short list for another short workweek.  I'm not a big fan of Chance's Coloring Book; I don't care for all the preachy Christian stuff, and it seems much more formulaic and controlled than his gleefully anarchic Acid Rap.  

Luckily both Electric Warrior and Silent Shout are superb, though for very different reasons.  Electric Warrior sounds like the distilled essence of sexy rock and roll: everything is midtempo, no ballads, barely any guitar solos, direct in its carnal intentions but hardly aggressive, syncopated to the nth degree, hips groovin' on hips, lyrics basically just words that sound sexy together.  It sounds ridiculous, but it totally works.

Silent Shout

Wharton's Weekly Albums #3: Week of December 24, 2018

Wharton's Weekly Albums #3: Week of December 24, 2018My weekly thoughts on the albums I listened to during last week's commute.
The Albums: *Criminal Minded, Boogie Down Productions
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco
Middle Cyclone, Neko Case
*an asterisk indicates that this is my first listen to this album
The Thoughts: A short list for a short workweek.  Didn't care much for the BDP.  YHF is an album I've heard so many times that it can be tough to listen to with fresh ears.  Someday I'll do a deep dive into Wilco, but today is not that day.  Instead my focus is on Middle Cyclone, Neko Case's 2009 album.  As an album, it's perfectly cromulent.  It opens with its strongest track, "This Tornado Loves You," one of my favorite songs from that year.  The rest of the songs are all fine, if less memorable.  They sound like Neko Case songs, and they have a general "nature as metaphor for romantic struggle" theme.  And then there's the last track: "…