Friday, July 3, 2009

Music Makes My World Go 'Round...V

After about a two month hiatus, it's my distinct pleasure to bring to you yet another peek at my CD cabinet. Unlike the last post, this one should be more upbeat and brimming with useless/useful factoids about the music that I listen to.

So as always, let's begin at the beginning.

1} I Need A Man by Jannie Funster. This particular CD was brought to my attention some time ago by the singer herself through her nifty little blog, and is available through her blog and at Waterloo Records in Austin TX. Anyways, all 13 tracks on the CD itself are very good. If you like music from the heart and with a little Texas twang, this CD is for you. My particular track favorites were tracks 1 (Hearts and Bones), 2 (Motorcycle Cop), 7 (What'll I Do With Me), 8 (Sugar Lady), and the lone instrumental on it, track 11 (Mystery Tune). Oh yeah, the reason I bought it? I like Jannie as a person, very warm and down to earth. Plus, she's a great musician.

2} Licensed To Ill by the Beastie Boys: I picked up this CD to replace the cassette I bought when it first came out in 1986 (yes, the Beastie Boys have been around for 23 years). And like everyone else, I bought for the track You Gotta Fight For Your Right. However, there are some other decent tracks on it, most notably, No Sleep til Brooklyn, Rhymin & Stealin' and She's Crafty. The amount of good white boy rap groups that are out there today you can count on two fingers, and the Beastie Boys are one of them. This is where it all began

3} No Depression by Uncle Tupelo: I heard a lot about Uncle Tupelo, mostly as a deceased band who gave birth to the alt-country bands Wilco and Son Volt. I happen to like alt-country, but trying to find it on college radio is damn near impossible. So when I happen to find this reissue of their debut album, I immediately snatched it up, partially because I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about and partially because I like alt-country/Americana. A very fine CD through and through. Contains all 13 tracks from the original release (rated 4 out 5 stars by AMG Guide to Rock music) plus 6 bonus tracks.

4} My Mother's Hymn Book by Johnny Cash: This particular CD was the second to last release by Johnny Cash on Rick Rubin's American Recordings/Lost Highways Records labels (the last being a five CD box set). I like Johnny Cash and I have all five of his previous releases on this label, so I thought that this would make a good addition to my collection. In a way it has, and in a way, it hasn't. The way it hasn't stems from the fact that by the time he made this CD, his voice was pretty much gone (was starting to go on V: The Man Comes Around), so it made it extremely difficult to appreciate the gospel songs that he was singing. If you're a Johnny Cash aficionado and need a CD to make your collection more complete, pick this one up. Otherwise, as much as it pains me to say it, don't.

5} The Dirty Boogie by The Brian Setzer Orchestra: I picked this one up as a used CD at FYE a couple of years ago. I made it a habit of picking up used CD's of certain artists I would want to listen to but was extremely loathe to shell out $20 for a new CD. I liked Brian Setzer from his days with the Stray Cats, and was curious about his extended foray into swing music. About the only song I recognize on this CD was Rock This Town, which was decent cover version, the title track is good, and a duet he did with Gwen Stefani called You're the Boss is fine as well. If you like swing music played the modern way with a guitar and orchestra, this CD is a fine representation of the genre.

6} Sixteen Stone by Bush: Bush was one of those rock bands from the UK that seemed to permeate the 90's with alarming frequency. This particular CD was a reissue of the 1994 release. I bought this one to replace the cassette. And like most bands from the 90's, their debut album was really the apex of their career. They made two more before fading from the scene. This one basically contains all their career chart toppers: Everything Zen, Little Things, Machinehead, and Glycerine.

7} Monster by R.E.M.: Another example of not wanting to spend gobs of money on a CD just for one song on it. I bought this used at FYE as well. Got it for the song What's The Frequency, Kenneth? and nothing else. For those of you who may not know (or just don't care) Michael Stipe wrote this song after an incident in which Dan Rather was attacked by a homeless person who kept asking him, "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" Actually, that sounds like a good idea for a future blog post: songs based on real life incidents One other track that you might recognize that got some radio airplay as well was Bang and Blame.

8} Hopkins (The Witching General) by Cathedral: Sill yet another example of experimenting on new artists and not wanting to spend gobs of money. Spent a $1.99 on it. Haven't listened to it yet, so I haven't a clue on what its all about.

9} Sinner by Drowning Pool: I bought this CD for one song and one song only, Bodies. If you want a good example of what your children are listening to, or what your friends are listening to, this CD is good place to start. Title track is good as well. A little known fact about the song Bodies is that this song was dropped from most commercial radio stations during the weeks that followed 9/11. This was due to the fact that the opening lyric to the song went like this, "Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the....FLOOR!" Now if you couple this song with some of the images from 9/11 (most notably, I remember seeing a documentary on HBO that showed some incredibly disturbing images from that day), you can get the basic idea why this song was dropped for a while.

So there you have it folks, another look into the musical realm that makes up my personality.


  1. Hey G -

    I like it when you do this post. Love Jannie's CD, too. Especially Hearts & Bones and Motorcycle Cop tracks.

    One of my friends, a very cool gal with the nickname of Gator, listens to nothing but Johnny Cash. I do like his music, too. But am not familiar with the one you mention.

    REM - love them because of their local connection, but their music is so great.

    The Beastie Boys used to be part of the Friday 5 o'clock whistle on 96 Rock in Atlanta during the '80s. They would sound a factory whistle at 5pm and a guy would say It's Friiiiidayyyyy!!!! "You gotta fight" was one of song snippets they played along with "Party town" - stuff like that. Thanks for bringing back that memory. I couldn't find a list of the song on Google, but probably could if I Googled hard enough. :)


  2. I like Jannie's very much. A co worker of mine was impressed with it as well. I keep it stashed at work

    This one was a posthumous release I believe. Like I said, his voice was really starting to go on "A Man Comes Around" and with this one, it's pretty much gone. It's realy a shame because I do like the Carter Family (having listened to a little bit on a local bluegrass show up here, and on a Grand Old Opry compilation album).

    I think the video for "Fight for Your Right" was pretty cool. They managed to get Kerry King (lead guitarist for Slayer) to make an appearance in the video.

    I like REM as well. Only got that one CD of thiers. I may buy more but its the matter of coming up with the coin in order to do it.

  3. May I suggest that most ABBA song of love has great impact on my personality.

  4. ABBA is pretty good. I actually like listening to ABBA. I don't have any of their stuff on converted to CD yet, but I find that listening to them reminds me that not all 70's music was schlocky.

  5. You have a nice eclectic list there. I love me some Johnny Cash...and I especially loved his voice as he aged. One of my favorites of his is when he covered Trent Reznor's "Hurt". I love so many different artists it would be impossible to list them. I They say money makes the world go round, but I think it's music. It's amazing how music can touch a soul.

  6. Thanks.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Johnny Cash as well. I especially love his version of "Hurt". However, this release should of been kept in the vaults, because his voice was pretty much gone when this was recorded.

  7. Let the Bodies hit the floor! Rock on.

  8. Yeah, I figure that one was right up your alleyway. :-]

    It took me about three years to find that particular CD. Like most of music, I usually buy CD's for one song and hope to hell that the rest of the disc is passable.

    In all seriousness, that one song (along with I think about two dozen others) were temporarily shelved in the weeks following 9/11.

  9. G, it's the very fact that his voice wasn't the same, that he had aged and his voice had too that touched me.

  10. Most definitely.

    If you listen to all of those specific recordings, you can hear the progressive downturn that his voice takes.

  11. Thought I left this yesterday...maybe I forgot to click send.

    What's the Frequency is the only REM song that I actually understand.

  12. It's funny, but I remember Dan Rather getting static for making an appearance in the video, poking fun at himself for it.


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