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Suicide – Suicide (1977)

[Album 573/1001]

I can’t tell if this is among the best or the worst albums of the 1001 list thus far.

And that makes me very excited.

A graph, or three, to explain.

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1. As first proposed last year, I believe that most of the albums I’ve heard/will hear (and I estimate there will be about 680 of them by the end) are in that “OK” to “Really Good” range.

To borrow a Michael Bluth quote, I have no problem with that.

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2. For better or worse, another 270 of the albums will be in that next range, meaning 95% of the 1001 list will be somewhere between “Not Really My Cuppa” and “Stellar.”

And some recent new-to-me records certainly belong in that narrow “Really Good” to “Stellar” window (such as Night Life & Live at the Regal).

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3. Of the 1001, there will be 4 albums that are untouchably amazing or unbearably awful.

I don’t believe SSuicide1977uicide quite fits either of those descriptions.

However, for the first time in recent memory, I think I’ve stumbled across an album that is at least approaching one of the extremes.

I’m not sure that one could ‘like’ this album;  it feels like an album that, one way or another, listeners will leave with much stronger feelings than that.

But do I “despise” it?

Or is this a “magical” record?

Listening to the side 2 opener, Frankie Teardrop, might be the optimal litmus test.

Are the 10 minutes and 26 seconds of bleak storytelling & sporadic howling barely listenable?

Or are they brilliant?

For me, it’s too soon to tell.

Yet I’m convinced that whatever Suicide’s 1977 debut album is, there’s nothing halfway about it.

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Verbalize the Positive

Thanks to my friend James Tallon (again) for lending me another intriguing LP & for not charging late fees!

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Artist of the Week – Quiz #41

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, Cream, James Taylor, The Eagles, The B-52s, LL Cool J, The Dictators, Judas Priest, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, The Beta Band, Talking Heads, Bee Gees, Megadeth, The Ramones, Guns n’ Roses, The Libertines, B.B. King, Beck, Coldplay, Madonna, Willie Nelson

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Willie Nelson last week.

The results after 40 weeks:

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after 40

*Plus 10,000,000 bonus points for giving birth to our third daughter 😀

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Ready for Quiz #41?

The time to hesitate is through!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #41
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points……………….. Al Jardine has been the rhythm guitarist of this band for last 54 years

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400 points………………..On their 1992 album Gordon, The Barenaked Ladies paid tribute (in song & song title no less) to another of this American group’s members

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300 points…………………The Beatles’ Back in the U.S.S.R. & The Dictators’ (I Live For) Cars and Girls are a pair of practically perfect pastiches of this band’s signature sunny sounds

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200 points………………….Despite their plethora of songs on the subject/sport/leisure activity, only the drummer was actually a surfer

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100 points………………..The artist is The B______ B____

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Answer: الأولاد الشاطئ

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

Their 1966 album is in my all-time Top 15!

B.B. King – Live at the Regal (1965)

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Regal logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 572/1001]

“I’ve been downhearted baby, ever since the day we met”
– B.B. King, How Blue Can You Get 

To quote Dennis Hopper in Speed, Pop Quiz Hot Shot.

What 90s song is being re-enacted by my daughters in the photo below?

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(past participle of “break” is written on the sheet of paper)

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Ever since I encountered B.B. King’s Live at the Regal, I haven’t been remotely downhearted.

It’s a performance that I’ve now enjoyed several times.

Though I’m not familiar with his studio work, it’s neat that the 1001 list editors chose a live album to acknowledge B.B. King’s contributions to the music world, as I gather he used to play a couple hundred shows each year.

And of course I love an apt album title; here we have the King holding court, I’m now happy to be among his faithful subjects/courtiers.BB_King-Live_at_the_Regal_(album_cover)

It was a particularly fun experience hearing King’s How Blue Can You Get for the first time.

If you grew up in the 90s, and weren’t terribly well versed in the blues, chances are, like me, you’d associate the phrase, “I’ve been downhearted baby”, with the Primitive Radio Gods.

Turns out, they sampled B.B.

As far as source material goes, that’s far from a bad place to look for samples.

And now whenever I hear Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand, I’ll think of my daughters re-enacting the song title, and B.B. King’s How Blue Can You Get.

Neither of those thoughts make me remotely blue.

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to daughters!

Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners (1957)


What an opening 3 seconds

[Album 571/1001]

There’s a park in Napanee, new in 2017, named Rotary Park.

Though I am not being compensated in any way by the Greater Napanee region for saying this, the park is fantastic.

There’s a swing on a roller coaster track, a splash pad, a couple of huge slides…we’ve made the 30 minute drive a few times and the kids really enjoy it.

In one corner of the park, in a particularly brilliant design feature, there’s a pair of xylophone/vibraphone-esque percussion instruments.

But instead of being noisy, the sound is somehow always somewhat muted, regardless of how aggressively the bars are struck by mallet-wielding youth.

And cleverly, they’ve designed this particular idiophone to always sound pleasing to the ear; semi-tones have been removed, regardless of the combination of notes, they inevitably sound nice together.

Which, for a public park, where the young musicians haven’t necessarily enrolled at the Juilliard yet, is a design feature the rest of the park patrons appreciate 99.99% of the time.

Except of course, on the rare occasion when an aspiring park musician tries to recreate that delicious dissonance from the opening notes of Brilliant Corners.

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It’s just not the same without the dissonance

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I love a good cringe-worthy note.

The chorus of Joni Mitchell’s My Old Man.

The third note in the original Nine Inch Nails version of Hurt.220px-BrilliantCornersTheloniousMonk

The opening few seconds of Brilliant Corners.

Talk about immediately getting my undivided attention!

Now, of course, I still had to dutifully listen to the full album a couple of times.

But it was more just to confirm what I already knew that I liked about Thelonious Monk.

He had me at the opening dissonance.

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Fantastic playground!*

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Verbalize the Positive

One of my friends (and weekly quiz participant) Brian helped design the aforementioned Napanne park. Well designed Brian!

*And I’d be doing a disservice to my students if I didn’t acknowledge the “highlight reel” nature of this video. I chose to document & share the playground fun, rather than documenting & sharing the tantrums & fussing from earlier that afternoon. So the clips are unrepresentative of the full day, absolutely, but the swing was just too fantastic to go un-shared 😀

 

Artist of the Week – Quiz #40

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, Cream, James Taylor, The Eagles, The B-52s, LL Cool J, The Dictators, Judas Priest, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, The Beta Band, Talking Heads, Bee Gees, Megadeth, The Ramones, Guns n’ Roses, The Libertines, B.B. King, Beck, Coldplay, Madonna

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Madonna last week.

The results after 39 weeks:

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Ready for Quiz #40?

Sweet!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #40
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points……………….. This American solo artist made a cameo (as himself) in the 1999 film, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, lending his first name to the list of slang terms used to describe Dr. Evil’s spacecraft in the ‘radar’ scene

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400 points………………..He has been impressively prolific, releasing 72 studio albums since his birth in Texas in 1933

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300 points…………………A pair of those studio records, his outlaw country album, Red Headed Stranger, and his pop standards collection, Stardust, ended up on the 1001 list

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200 points………………….He is an activist for a variety of causes, including (but not limited to) supporting farmers, encouraging the use of bio fuels, and the legalization of marijuana

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100 points………………..The artist is W__________ N_________

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Answer: ويلي نيلسون

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Artist of the Week – Quiz #39

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, Cream, James Taylor, The Eagles, The B-52s, LL Cool J, The Dictators, Judas Priest, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, The Beta Band, Talking Heads, Bee Gees, Megadeth, The Ramones, Guns n’ Roses, The Libertines, B.B. King, Beck, Coldplay

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Coldplay last week.

The results after 38 weeks:

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after 38

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Ready for Quiz #39?

What better place than here, what better time than now!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #39
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points……………….. She played the role of the center fielder, “All the Way” Mae Mordabito, in the 1992 film, A League of Their Own

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400 points………………..In addition to her other artistic ventures, she has 3 albums of music on the 1001 list (with release dates of 1989, 1998, and 2000); her third listed album, descriptively enough, is named, Music

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300 points…………………Renowned for her constant reinventions and her continued relevance over the last four decades, according to Forbes, she has a net worth of $580 million

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200 points………………….Born in Michigan, her birth name is ___________ Louisa Ciccone

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100 points………………..The artist is M__________

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Answer: سيدة مادونا

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

…..

Verbalize the Positive

I had to use the Beatle tune (with ‘Lady’) in front of her stage name to get the translation today; using her one-word stage name resulted in ‘Virgin Mary’!

Fugazi – Repeater (1989)

[Album 570/1001]

McConaughey: “It’s all a fugazi, you know what fugazi is?”
DiCaprio: “Fugazi, it’s a fake”
McConaughey: “Fugaaazi, Fugahhhzi, it’s a wuzzy, it’s a woozy, it’s (fluttering sound effects) fairy dust, it doesn’t exist, it’s never landed, it’s no matter, it’s not on the elemental chart, it’s not f’n real, right?!”
– Scene from The Wolf of Wall Street

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Time for some fact-checking.

Claim #1: “it’s not on the elemental chart” is TRUE

Fugazi is not on the periodic table of the elements. I could not find it among the inert gases, nor amidst the lanthanides & achtinides.

Claim #2: “it doesn’t exist” is FALSE

It appears Fugazi played their first show as ‘Fugazi’ in September 1987 (and I believe the above movie scene was set just prior to Black Monday in October 1987). So while they likely weren’t a household name by October, technically…

Claims #3-8: “it’s a wuzzy, it’s a woozy, it’s (fluttering sound effects) fairy dust…it’s never landed, it’s no matter…it’s not f’n real, right?!” are UNCLEAR

I struggled to confirm or deny anything about the wuzzy/woozy/fairy dust claims.220px-Fugazi_-_Repeater_cover

But I can confirm that Fugazi’s album Repeater did manage to land on the 1001 Albums list.

And given that status, it clearly matters to enough people to justify its inclusion.

Not being a post-hardcore aficionado (and not being entirely certain what being post-hardcore constitutes), is Repeater the authentic sound of the genre? Or is it, as Leo defined Fugazi, a fake?

Even if the band itself is the real deal, is this album so good that it’s unreal, or more McConaughey-esque, not f’n real?

At first listen, I guessed the public reaction to Repeater might mirror the public reaction to The Wolf of Wall Street: many viewers/listeners will not necessarily like the subject matter, nor the aggressive/intense behaviour of the main characters.

However, upon further research, I gather the band’s financial model is absolutely antonymous to The Wolf of Wall Street.

Instead of practicing what McConaughey preached (“f*ck the clients, pocket the cold hard cash commissions), Fugazi opted to charge as little as possible for concert tickets, later inviting fans to pay what they could (on a sliding scale) for the concert recordings.

Providing a good product, a product that band wholeheartedly believed in, while keeping the customer experience affordable?

Respecting your fans?

There’s always going to be a (or an f’n) real audience for that.

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Verbalize the Positive

Thanks to Wikipedia for confirming that the pronunciation is foo-GAH-zee, looks like McConaughey was right!