Much like Rob Gordon, I am a music lover. I personally think American Idol represents all that is wrong with music today. I once worked in a record shop in college. Well, it was a chain record shop, but I absolutely loved it ... except for the fact that they rented movies as well. This was the early 90's when VHS still ruled and no one snickered if you bought a cassette. Unlike Blockbuster, this store would put the movicover out with long plastic bookmarkers carrying the name of the movie, so you just brought the bookmark up to the desk. I spent most of my day locating the bookmarkers for "The Last Temptation of Christ" because the self-appointed thought police in town would come in and hide them so no one could rent it. Great town, huh?
Much to my chagrin, this said store also was the only place to rent pornos in my Bible beating town, so naturally I got all of the town's classiest customers. One customer did make me very uncomfortable. His daughters went to school with us and in fact, my sister was friends with one of his two girls. He came in one night and remembered me because I had given her and my sister a ride home after their band practice. So he starts talking to me like nothing is going on. Unfortunately, one of the procedures I had to follow was to read back the titles of what you were renting to make sure they were actually getting what you wanted. So here is what our conversation went like:
Me: How are you, Mr. P? Did you find what you needed?
Him: I sure did, Cincy. What are you up to these days?
Me: Oh ... I'm going to UNM and I'm home for the summer.
Him: Well, Kristie is looking at going there this fall still. She hasn't decided yet. If she goes, you'll have to show her around campus.
Me. No problem, Mr. P; I'll be more than glad to show her around. It's a huge place and it's so easy to get lost. (awkward pause) So, it looks like you picked up "Ass Burglars 3", "Cumming In Socks", and "On Golden Blonde". Is this is it for you tonight, sir?
So working at the music store gave me a greater appreciation of music, more so than what I already had from my mom's Saturday morning cleaning sessions with the Motown label. So here is a rundown of a few of the things I've been listening to lately...
Morningwood .... this band is great. Aside from the greatest name for a band in a long time, their music is infectious and well .... it's just fucking good. Any band that has a song about taking off your clothes that is used in concert to get audience members naked is fine by me. Plus there is something about the singer's voice that makes me listen. Can anyone explain this to me? Be sure to go to their website (click on their name there) and play "The Wet T-Shirt Game" ... you can win a free copy of their album!
Matisyahu - To be honest, at first glane, you'd think this guy is just ... well, another guy. I would have never suspected he rocks ... but he does! We've all heard "King Without A Crown" and yes, we all jam to it when it's on the radio. Don't lie, fucker! You know you're bobbing your head in tune with the music just like I am.
Fall Out Boy - Any band named after a character on the Simpsons has got to be good, right? Well, I have really liked them since I heard their first single "Dead On Arrival" (hint: click on the link for a free download of the tune) long before the current album hit. But I don't fault them; it's just that everyone else finally caught on to how great they are. So let 'em roll with the success.
The Streets - They've got this really great song out right now called "When You Wasn't Famous". Click on the chav's pic above to get to a link so you can watch the video. It's quite a catchy little diddy.
Otis Redding - For some strange reason, I will just get bored with today's music and seek out something different. I have been in this mood lately for classic R & B and who better than Otis Redding? "These Arms of Mine" and "You Left The Water Running" are 2 absolutely phenomenal tunes that I can't recommend highly enough. Give 'em a shot and download 'em or steal 'em from your mom's collection ... just get them.
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - I'm a snob in that I think jazz and blues needs to be old (at least pre-1980). Let me tell you that this album is wonderful. It is one of the best slow, mellow albums you can imagine. The entire album is worth listening to over and over .... and over and over. This was made when feelings and soul were not just words you used to describe this music; it was infused into the melody, the lyrics, and the mood it created. "The Nearness of You" is one of those slow, dreamy tunes that you can imagine yourself listening to on the couch on a Friday night with your significant other. Again, download it, steal it, buy it (at your local independent music store of course a la Rob Gordon) ... but by all means, get this album.