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Wake me up when ‘Mo’vember ends

A comically over-sized two part post:

1) The alphabet series (and digits 0-9): finito!

Though I guess never fully complete(ly) done until the summary Top 5.

At the risk of being too meta, the Top 5 artist letters from the Top 5 alphabet series:

5. The Letter “J”

4. The Letter “R”

3. The Letter “S”

2. The Letter “B”

1. The Letter “P”

Going in, I would have assumed B, no contest.  But thanks in part to a pair of excellent & new-to-me records by The Pogues and The Pretenders, “P” takes the cake, for now!

2) The post subject

For me, half the fun of the alphabet series was hearing from you fine folks about other deserving artists.

At the bottom of this post, check out the 444(!) artists that did not make my Top 5s but were declared list-worthy by the good people who commented at some point in the past 7 months.*

And I have every intention of checking out these recommendations!

Therefore, for the month of November, I’m going to attempt to take a break from 2 things:

i) Shaving below my nose & above my lip, happy Movember!

ii) The 1001 albums project.  To make sure I keep enjoying it (it’s like a marathon, I have to pace myself) I’m going to spend the month with your recommendations & some purely recreational listening.  Maybe even something released after 2005, we’ll see!

I’ll inevitably be doing some sort of a time travel tribute to Back to the Future II (Marty traveled to the year 2015 in the film) when I return in December.

Looking forward to keeping the great music discussions going at that time, talk to you all soon!

—–

*Appendix A, the 444 additional artists courtesy of my blogosphere friends:

 

10 minute warning
13th floor elevators
21 Hertz
38 Special
8mm
Amos the Transparent
Anvil
Arcade Fire
Auteurs, The
Bad Religion
Band of Horses
Band, The
Barenaked Ladies
Beastie Boys
Beck, Jeff
Bee Gees
Belle & Sebastien
Bjork
Black Crowes
Black Kids
Black Sabbath
Bowwowwow
Bright Eyes
Cale, JJ
Can
Candlemass
Carcass
CCR
Celtic Frost
Cheap Trick
Clash, The
Cobham, Billy
Cocteau Twins
Cooper, Alice
Cosmic Rough Riders
Daft Punk
Dandy Warhols
Decemberists
Deep Purple
Depeche Mode
Dire Straits
Doobie Brothers
Doors
Doves
Duran Duran
EGG
Elbow
Emerson Lake and Palmer
Evans, Bill
Faith No More
Fall, The
Fatboy Slim
Faust
Fine Young Cannibals
Fitzgerald, Ella
Five Finger Death Punch
Flaming Lips
Fleet Foxes
Flying Burrito Brothers
Focus
Foreigner
Fountains of Wayne
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Free
Frou Frou
Fugees
Funkadelic
Garbage
Garfunkel, Art
Gelb, Howe
Genesis
George, Lowell
Ghostface Killah
Giant Sand
Gibbons, Beth
Gillan
Gotan Project
Govt Mule
Grand Drive
Gutter Twins, The
Gwar
Hackett, Steve
Hall & Oates
Hammill
Hanson
Harding, John Wesley
Harper, Ben
Harper, Roy
Harris, Emmylou
Harrison, George
Harvey, PJ
Hawkwind
Healey, Jeff
Heart
Helix
Hiatt, John
Hinton, Eddie
Hold Steady, The
Hole
Holly, Buddy
Hooker, John Lee
Human League
Hunter, Ian
Icicle Works
Interpol
Iron & Wine
Jackson, Jo
James
James, Etta
Jamiroquai
Jane’s Addiction
Jayhawks
Jefferson Airplane
Jellyfish
Jennings, Waylon
Jethro Tull
Johnson, Eric
Johnson, Robert
Jones, George
Jones, Rickie Lee
Joplin, Janis
Journey
Judas Priest
July Talk
Keys, Alicia
Killing Joke
King Cobb Steelie
King Curtis
Kiss
Korn
Kraftwerk
Kristofferson, Kris
Kyuss
Lamb
Levellers
Lewis, Huey
Lhasa
Lightfoot, Gordon
Little Feat
Little Richard
Little River Band
Living Colour
Look People
Los Fabulous Cadillacs
Los Lobos
Love
Loverboy
Lovett, Lyle
Lowe, Nick
Lush
Lynne, Shelby
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Madness
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Mann, Aimee
Manowar
Marillion
Marley, Bob
Mars Volta
Martyn, John
Max Q
Max Webster
Mayall, John
McLachlan, Sarah
Megadeth
Mellencamp, John
Men At Work
Mercyful Fat
Michaels, Bret
Midnight Oil
Mingus, Charlie
Misfits
Mitchell, Joni
Montrose
Moody Blues
Morbid Angel
Morrison, Van
Motorhead
Mott the Hopple
Mr. Mister
Muse
My Bloody Valentine
My Morning Jacket
Napalm Death
Nash, Graham
National Health
Nazareth
Nazz
Nektar
Nelson, Willie
Neu!
Neutral Milk Hotel
Neville Brothers
New Pornographers
Nice, The
Nile
Nilsson, Harry
Nine Inch Nails
Nuclear Assault
NUGE, The
Numan, Gary
Ocean Colour Scene
Ochs, Phil
October Project
Old 97s
Oldfield, Mike
Opeth
Orange Juice
Orbison, Roy
Orme, Le
OSI
Osibissa
Owen, Judith
Owsley
Ozric Tentacles
Perversor
Pete & The Pirates
Postal Service
Power From Hell
Power Trip
Pulled Apart By Horses
Q, Stacey
Q-Tip
Quad City DJs
Quarterflash
Quartermass
Quatro, Michael
Quatro, Suzie
Quebec, Ike
Question Mark and the Mysterians
Quiet Sun
Quill
Rage Against the Machine
Raging Slab
Rainbow
Raitt, Bonnie
Rammstein
Ramones
Rancid
Red Fang
Redd Kross
Redding, Otis
Reed, Lou
Reid, Terry
Renaissance
Renbourn, John
Replacements
Return to Forever
Reverend Bizarre
RHCP
Rheostatics
Ride
Riot
Rise to Remain
Rishloo
Riverside
Rockpile
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Rollins Band
Ronstadt, Linda
Roots
Roxy Music
Rubinoos
Rufus ft. Chaka Khan
Rundgren, Todd
Runrig
Rutles, The
Saga
Sam & Dave
Santana
Saxon
Secret Machines
Seger, Bob
Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Setzer, Brian/Stray Cats
Shankar, Ravi
Shins, The
Sigur Ros
Silversun Pickups
Simple Minds
Simply Red
Sinatra, Frank
Skids
Slayer
Sly and the Family Stone
Small Faces
Smashing Pumpkins
Smithereens
Soft Machine
Solas
Solas
Sonic Youth
Soundtrack of Our Lives
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Spandau Ballet
Specials, The
Spirit of the West
Spiritualized
Split Enz
Spock’s Beard
Spoon
Springfield, Dusty
Squeeze
Stars
Steely Dan
Stereophonics
Stevens, Cat
Stewart, Al
Stewart, Rod
Sting
Styx
Suede
Supertramp
Sweet, Matthew
Swervedriver
Talk Talk
Talking Heads
Tangerine Dream
Taylor, James
Tears For Fears
Television
Testament
Texas
The Easybeats
They Might Be Giants
Thin Lizzy
This will Destroy You
Thompson, Richard
Thorogood, George
Thunder
Tokyo Blade
Tool
Tosh, Peter
Toto
Townshend, Pete
Traffic
Transatlantic
Trews
T-Rex
Triptykon
Triumph
Trouble
Trower, Robin
Trucks, Derek
Truly
Tubes, The
TV on the Radio
Twilight of the Gods
Twilight Singers
Twisted Sister
Tygers of Pan Tang
Type O Negative
U.F.O.
UB40.
UK
Ultravox
Ulver
Underworld
Univers Zero
Universal Congress Of
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Unthanks
Upchurch, Phil
Urge Overkill
Uriah Heap
Utopia
Vai, Steve
Vampire Weekend
Van Der Graaf Generator
Van Zandt, Townes
Vandross, Luther
Vangelis
Vanilla Fudge
Vaughan, Stevie Ray
Veils
Vella, Rosie
Velvet Underground
Vetiver
VietNam
Vincent, Gene
Viola, Mike
Vio-Lence
Violent Femmes
Visage
Voices
Voivod
Vollenweider, Andreas
Wainright, Loudon III
Wainright, Rufus
Waits, Tom
Warrior Soul
WASP
Waterboys, The
Waters, Muddy
Watson, Patrick
We are Wolves
Weakerthans
Weather Report
Weber, Eberhard
Ween
Weller, Paul
Whiskeytown
White Stripes
White, Jim
Whitesnake
Wildhearts (The)
Williams, Hank
Williams, Lucinda
Williams, Tony
Wilson, Jackie
Wilson, Steven
Winger
Winter, Johnny
Winwood, Steve
Wishbone Ash
Witch Cross
Wolfsbane
Wonder, Stevie
Wonderstuff, The
Wood, Ron
Wooden Sky
Wu-Tang Clan
Wyatt, Robert
X Japan
X Ray Spex
X, Generation
Xcnn
Xenedis, Phil
Xeno & Oaklander
Xentrix
Xerath
XS, IN
XYMOX, Clan of
Y & T
Yardbirds
Yello
Yokota, Susumu
Young Galxy
Zawinul, Joe
Zebra
Zee
Zevon, Warren
Zombies
Zwan

ZZ Top – Tres Hombres (1973)

[Album 357/1001]220px-ZZ_Top_-_Tres_Hombres

I’m a fan of Judy Greer.

Who’s she you ask?

She’s the author of the book, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From, an autobiography very much on my to-read list.

Using a search engine of your choice, type in her name and be prepared to say, ‘oh yeah, she’s that girl from that movie!’

Tres Hombres might have the ultimate “that song from that movie.”

I didn’t recognize the track name La Grange; after a few seconds, very few will still find the song unfamiliar.  The challenge is figuring out where you know it from!

The song has probably appeared in countless ads/trailers/clips… and with good reason: just like Judy Greer, ZZ Top excels at what they do.

Tres Hombres is bluesy, it rocks, and there isn’t a dud in the set.  It’s 33:32 of time well spent.

As a fan of numeric patterns, it’s only a shame they couldn’t add another second to the running time!

Top 5 “Z” Artists

You say Zee, I say Zed.

Either way, here are 5 of ‘em!

.

5. Zombie, Rob
Can’t say I know a great deal of his solo stuff but Dragula was undeniably catchy.

.

4. Zuckerbaby
90s CanCon!

.

3. Zutons, The
I quite enjoy the saxamophone on their debut.

.

2. Zappa, Frank
With ‘Mo’vember mere days away, I’m talking about Zappa ahead of schedule!

.

1. ZZ Top
I wasn’t sure whether to give the title to these guys or Zappa.  The tie went to the group with longer beards & a Back to the Future III performance.

An early Zed-Zed Top record is on the calendar for tomorrow, enjoy!

Neil Young – Harvest (1972)

[Album 356/1001]220px-NeilYoungHarvestalbumcover

My Neil Young journey:

Pre-December 2011
As a child, I think I was a fan of author Scott Young’s hockey books.
My thoughts about his son Neil?  Summed up neatly by Stewie’s question about Kermit the Frog, “what’s his appeal?”

.

May 2012, After the Goldrush
(with a feeble attempt at a Shania Twain impression) OK, so he can write songs? That don’t impress…

.

March 2013, Van Morrison’s Moondance
I begin to realize Neil’s polarizing voice may be part of his charm.

.

July 2013, Ragged Glory (with Crazy Horse)
Blue Rodeo-esque, now we’re talking!

.

August 2013, Rust Never Sleeps
Well I heard Mr. Young sing about it…and I’m looking forward to more?  This must be what people have been seeing all these years!

.

October 2014, Harvest
Frankly, how could anyone not see the appeal of this record?

Well I suppose Neil didn’t like how this put him in the “middle of the road.”  I’ve mentioned this before but English is such a strange language: in any other context, middle of the road means dangerous but in music, it curiously means overly safe/unadventurous.

This is the kind of record that gives me false confidence in my drumming abilities.  The kick-kick-snare pattern (and very little in the way of cymbals) is so easy but anything more would be too much.

Some fans have probably met their lifetime quota (thanks themesongsteve for introducing me to that term!) with songs like Heart of Gold but considering I spent 30+ years in the Non-Neil-fan wilderness, I’m not sick of any of these yet.

Academic Young fans would probably hesitate to single this out as a career peak but as an entry point to his catalogue, this is probably as good an introduction as there is.

Ol’ Neil’s back a few more times before the 1001 is through so I suppose my Neil Young journey is to be continued!

Top 5 “Y” Artists

If it seems like I’m posting more frequently than usual this week – there’s method behind the madness.  The vision is to wrap up the alphabet by Hallowe’en.

What better time for its penultimate letter!

.

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Fever to Tell had its moments.

.

4. Yes
A more formal affirmative group name than the #5 band, owners of a trio of albums on the list.

.

3. Yoakam, Dwight
Instantly identifiable style & Buenos Noches was indeed bueno.

.

2. Young, Neil
He’s on the 1001 nine times in almost as many configurations (with/without Crazy Horse, with CSNY…) and his stock continues to rise in my books.

.

1. Yankovic, “Weird” Al
One video clip is insufficient, thrilled to see his commercial success in 2014!

Neil Young (sans Crazy Horse) is on the calendar for tomorrow, enjoy!

10cc – Sheet Music (1974)

[Album 355/1001]220px-10ccSheetMusic

Ever notice when you decide to move to a new house, all of a sudden you see all kinds of ‘for sale/for rent’ signs that you’d previously just driven past?

That seems to be the case lately for me & Wall Street.

We’re doing a Stock Market Challenge with my Business class and since the contest opened, Wall Street is everywhere.

Netflix is saying I should watch The Wolf of Wall Street, I’ve started Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys (about High Frequency Trading) and 10cc kicked off this album with The Wall Street Shuffle.

I wouldn’t have guessed the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be fodder for a hit single but much like my stock picks in our simulation, I was way off!

I like how all four band members take turns on lead vocals (à la Sloan) and I can tell some of my favourites liked this one (notably Blur’s Theme From Retro borrows considerably from the opening to Hotel).

Track two, The Worst Band in the World, is misleading.  I’d say they are far from it but they may be closer to exactly halfway from that dubious distinction.

In his typical brilliant form, Chuck Klosterman described Van Halen’s And The Cradle Will Rock as THE average song.  Meaning in the history of recorded music, it’s smack dab in the middle: half of all other music is superior, the other half inferior.

I won’t be quite so broad with my data set, but I’ll predict this:

7+ years from now, if I choose to rank the 1001 albums, this will be album #501 on the list.

Average isn’t bad.  Tell any expectant mother that they’re having an ‘average’ pregnancy, you’ve just made their day.

For 10cc, they too have reason to celebrate;  500 albums ahead of Sheet Music would be ‘above average’ yes, but the other 500 would mathematically be considered ‘below.’

They’d the only group on the list with the distinction of recording an average, or should I say, THE average record.

Cue the champagne!

Top “#” Artists

As the alphabet series winds down, I almost forgot the artists that begin with “0-9.”

Y & Z will have to wait, it’s time for some numbers.

Instead of an overall Top 5, I’ll mix it up and select the Top Artist for each digit.

Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments – in fact, please do.  For some of these, I was struggling to think of even one eligible artist!

Top Artist starting with…

0 – I’ve got nothing.  So I will slyly say Nada Surf.  Bending the rules already, off to a good start.

1 – 10,000 Maniacs.  Natalie Merchant made a cameo on Mermaid Avenue, she’s good in my books.

2 – 2Pac.  It felt wrong not choosing 2 Unlimited (with the immortal rhetorical question, Y’all ready for this?) but Shakur’s talent trumps techno in the end.

3 – 311.  Cover The Cure (Love Song) and do it well, you’ve got my vote.

4 – 4 Non Blondes.  Surprisingly, just the one album but there was more to them than merely the big single What’s Up?.

5 – It was almost 50 Cent (with the authentic pronunciation of course) until my dad reminded me of 54-40!

6 – 6pence none the richer, maybe?  I miss the “S” and “B” artists when I was overwhelmed by options!

7 – 7 Mary 3, or 7M3 for those who found the full name too, well, cumbersome. :D

8 – I see that ‘808 State’ has an album on the 1001.  I’ve yet to hear it, but as I’ve yet to hear anything by any other ‘8’ Artist, congratulations 808 State!

9 – 9 Days.  The group that sang the song that opened with the instantly recognizable lyric, “this is the story of the girl.”  The name of the song?  They named it Absolutely.  Obviously!

A 10cc review is up next, enjoy!

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