published on in Music

recent music purchases

Not an instrument,  but albums.

I enjoy listening to music a lot, it makes my commute better, it makes jogging a lot of fun, and sometimes I don’t mind running errands because it gives me a good reason to listen to a new album.

So, here are a few albums that I’ve recently picked up and really enjoyed.

[caption id=“attachment_698” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Roger Waters - Amused to Death”][/caption]

Fist off, check out that cover, that looks like a movie poster of something I’d watch. If I saw that in a video store (or on twitchfilm.net), I’d be too excited to click on it, I’d be paralyzed in the anticipation of a subtitled movie. There was a short story of a similar title which inspired this album. Or, so Wikipedia says.

I could lament over the fact that its just a Roger Waters album, and without David Gilmour playing guitar, it is only a shadow of what it could have been… I’d be lying if I said that though. This is a pretty awesome album, and while there is no Sir David Gilmour, there is Jeff freakin’ Beck. That guy creates some really unique sounds out of his guitar, where I cannot even tell what he is doing. I’m not a guitar virtuoso by any means, I know about enough techniques that while I can’t do it smoothly, I at least know the fundamentals of what a musician is doing. Not with this album. I can’t tell if he’s using a slide, his magical fingers, a whammy bar… its all mixed together.

Besides the music, which I do like, it is a Roger Waters album, and that means it is very satirical and the entire album is really one LOOONG song. The biggest downside to that is you cannot really appreciate one song at a time, you have to listen to the entire album. In the era of digital music with random track selection, or buying songs at a time, it can really kill a high concept album like this. Like the other Pink Floyd albums, such as The Wall, Dark Side of The Moon, Animals, etc… the entire album flowed together. They were also produced in the days of records (which now a days means a piece of information in a database :) ), where you pretty much had to listen to the entire album (I was always really bad at finding a track without hitting another song). It almost seems like albums like this wouldn’t be very successful in todays market, where you have to have a few radio-friendly hits and your album has to be modular enough to accommodate one-off iTunes downloads.

So, albums like this make me appreciate my commute to work. It gives me a large chunk of time to give the entire album its due respect, because after all, driving is for paying close attention to music and podcasts, not the road…

[caption id=“attachment_699” align=“aligncenter” width=“400” caption=“Cage The Elephant”][/caption]

I heard a song off of it called ‘No Rest for The Wicked’, and it’s pretty rockin’, so I got the entire album.

It’s not bad at all, it has a few tracks that I really like, and others are a little too fast paced for my liking, but all around it has a nice classic rock/blues feel to it. I have one of the songs on my jogging play list, and it has the perfect tempo to run too. Its just right where if I follow it with my gate, I run a bit faster than normal.

[caption id=“attachment_700” align=“aligncenter” width=“400” caption=“Anamanaguchi - Dawn Metropolis”][/caption]

This group makes their music with a hacked Nintendo Classic. It seems like they use real instruments, then let the 8-bit MIDI sound processor re-encode it. So, it sounds like the music to a 80’s video game. Being that is when I started playing games, it really hits the nostalgia spot. I like the bleeps and boops of old games, so naturally this album is good.

[caption id=“attachment_701” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle”][/caption]

This album cover reminds me of something my Grandma would listen too. Or, when I used to go to the Salvation Army to look for records (Look, I didn’t have any disposable income as a teenager, and I was big on 70’s music. I could only afford used records, and even then I couldn’t even afford that), and every album had a cover like this… Maybe thats the joke of it, its pretty deceptive. That, and I think the dude likes animals a lot.

Over a year ago, I watched a very good movie called “Dead Mans Shoes”, which featured a Bill Callahan track (its under his previous band name, Smog) called “Vessel in Vain”. I’m not a country or folk fan. I might find a Johnny Cash song appealing, ormaybe one Bob Dillon song, but that is more of an artifact than me liking the two genres. Even though I don’t really like the majority of that type of music, there is something about Smog/Bill Callahan’s music that hooks me.

So, I’ve gone though every Smog/Bill album, and each album varies enough from indie to country that I tend to like one or two songs, and the rest are kind of ‘meh’. This one was no exception, there are about three songs I REALLY like, and the rest just don’t do anything for me.

[caption id=“attachment_702” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“B.B. King - The Ultimate Collection”][/caption]

I got this album specifically to try and learn some classic B.B. King songs. I’ve been working on “The Thrill is Gone”, and its pretty amazing how he can work just a few positions on the strings, yet create a whole sound scape. He also has a different playing style than I’m used to, so I had to build up my index finger’s strength just to try and hit the same quarter and full bends that he does.

Blues is still iffy for me. It seems if I like it, I REALLY like it, but not all of it catches my attention. Like this album, some of it is really REALLY good, and the rest feels like its just filler music. Maybe because to me, some of it starts to sounds too much alike, and I can’t remember it.

[caption id=“attachment_704” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“King Crimson - In The court of The Crimson King”]King Crimson - In The Court of The Crimson King[/caption]

This cover is on the right on the precipice of giving me nightmares, freaky right? That and the weird almost anagram like mix of the Band name, and the Title name (which is almost backwards) breaks my brain like a divide by zero error. I can’t remember if the band is King Crimson or Crimson King now…

I’ve never heard of King Crimson, and the only reason why I got it was because it was categorized with Pink Floyd (as “Progressive Rock”) on the hilarious show “The Venture Brothers”. With that in mind, I decided to give it a shot.

It’s not bad considering the era (Ha, does that make you feel old Dad?? I referenced your generations music like a historian would :) ), it talks about flower power, moon children, it has flutes in the mix, and the entire album is 4 tracks, each track is 12 minutes long. I don’t like flutes in my rock, so there are bits and pieces that I like about it. It seems it would have been a good soundtrack to a movie, as it doesn’t have the typical structure as most music.