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Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)

[Album 711/1001]

What’s the worst trade you’ve ever made?

Next week, I’ll be asking my students to make a pretty dismal transaction (at least, dismal from their perspective):

You give me your phone…and I’ll give you your final exam.

Talk about a win-win?!

Until recently, I thought the phone-for-exam swap was one of the more lopsided trades possible.

That is, until I heard about this titular exchange, as proposed by Dead Kennedys!

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fresh fruit

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Of the 5 items mentioned above, if given the choice, I’d select the following (in ascending order):

5. Rotting Vegetables – Actually, maybe that’s a hard pass on even being gifted those.

4. Final Exam – Hopefully, one I could pass.Dead_Kennedys_-_Fresh_Fruit_for_Rotting_Vegetables_cover

3. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables – Perhaps not a record that works in all listening contexts. But in the right ones (e.g. as an energizing listen when running for an extended period of time), it has its place.

2. Phone – Can be diverting…

1. Fresh Fruit – …but there’s no substitute for fresh fruit

Given the exchange proposed by Dead Kennedys, perhaps asking students to turn in their phones (while writing their final exams) isn’t such an unreasonable request!

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Verbalize the Positive

It’s been another good semester – I’m looking forward to having some 1001 albums playing in the background while I’m working through the piles of end-of-semester marking!

Artist of the Week IV – Quiz #2

ArtistoftheweekIV

Exceptional Artist of the Week IV Series logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

2020 Artists of the Week (so far):

The Cure

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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 The Cure last week.

The results after 1 week (as of Thursday afternoon – results submitted after that time will be added to next week’s spreadsheet):

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after week 1

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Ready for Quiz #2?

Don’t believe the hype!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(Same as last year, 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 #2
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..Not an Elvis Presley fan? Neither was this hip hop group (formed in New York in 1985), who once observed, “Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant (curse word) to me”

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400 points……………….They have a trio of albums on the 1001 list: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988), Fear of a Black Planet (1990), and Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)

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300 points……………………The group, as collectible action figures:

23-Circle Venn Diagram (2)

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200 points………………..Two word band name, the first is the opposite of ‘private’ and the second is the opposite of an ‘ally/friend’

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100 points………………..The artist is P_______ E_______

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Answer: تشاك د (the lead singer of the group – google translate had another tough week with the band name)

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

I quite like this group (especially their ’90/’91 albums) – though I fear that when I start singing them, I sound a bit like Carlton Banks!

Bert Jansch – Bert Jansch (1965)

[Album 710/1001]

Do you have a favourite guitar player?

Chances are, that guitar player was/is a fan of Bert Jansch.

At least, many of my favourites appear to be big fans.BertJansch1965

I can see why: the acoustic finger-picking on his self-titled debut is remarkable.

And it’s not as though it sounds amazing because the record took years of expensive studio time to record, with overdubs galore.

Instead, I gather it was recorded on a tape recorder, with Jansch using a borrowed guitar, while seated on the edge of a bed.

Which only helps Mr. Jansch climb my list of all-time favourite Berts!

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Top 5 Berts (5)

Top 5 Berts (4)

Top 5 Berts (3)

Top 5 Berts (2)

Top 5 Berts (1)

Top 5 Berts

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Verbalize the Positive

I was pleased to learn he was a founding member of the group, Pentangle.

And since they’ve got an album on the 1001 list as well, I’ll get to listen to some more of his work in the not too distant future!

 

Artist of the Week IV – Quiz #1

ArtistoftheweekIV

Exceptional Artist of the Week IV Series logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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

This year, I’m excited to be hosting quizzes once again, to be published every Sunday morning at 12:01 a.m. E.S.T.

Welcome back to returning participants, welcome to new friends!

And my humongous thanks to Sarca for creating another exemplary logo to introduce this year’s series, Artist of the Week IV!

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Ready for Quiz #1?

Show me, show me, show me!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(Same as last year, 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 #1
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..A constant among my all-time top 5 groups, here is this English band’s 1992 hit song (and one of lead singer Robert Smith’s uncharacteristically optimistic lyric sheets), as a T-shirt:

23-Circle Venn Diagram (1)

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400 points……………….Credited with inventing &/or perfecting the genre of ‘goth rock,’ they have a trio of albums on the 1001 list: Seventeen Seconds (1980), Pornography (1982), and the Kyle-from-South-Park-endorsed, Disintegration (1989)

Untitled presentation (21)

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300 points……………………The band shares a name with a 1995 film featuring Joseph Mazzello and their tunes are sometimes used as movie titles, such as Boys Don’t Cry and Just Like Heaven

23-Circle Venn Diagram

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200 points………………..Charities raise money to help find The _____ for various diseases

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100 points………………..The artist is The C___

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Answer: الجمعة أنا في حالة حب

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

It was a tough week for google translate – so the translation is for the song referenced in the 500 clue.

A practically perfect tune!

Dusty Springfield – A Girl Called Dusty (1964)

[Album 709/1001]

Mr. Radison: Uh, I thought I told you to call me Mr. Rad. Or Cory. Just don’t call me “late to dinner.” Unless you’re serving Brussels sprouts!
Dean Pelton: I won’t, I promise!
Troy Barnes: This guy’s like human froyo.
– Community S3, E10

I’m not sure what exactly “human froyo” means.

Based on “Mr. Rad” in the above scene, I’m guessing something bland, or unappealing.

And although that may be an appropriate thing to call Mr. Radison, that would be far from an apt description of this girl Called Dusty Springfield.

From her first few vocal notes of Mama Said, it was clear that Dusty Springfield’s debut would be highly appealing and miles from bland.220px-A_Girl_Called_Dusty_(Dusty_Springfield_album_-_cover_art)

It reminded me a lot of my experience of listening to Sam Cooke’s Live at the Harlem Square Club. There was an irresistible energy to the performances and it made for the ideal dinner prep soundtrack.

As you might have guessed, last night we were serving Brussels sprouts.

And when roasted with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and garlic & paired Dusty Springfield’s A Girl Called Dusty?

Deelish!

dusty

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Verbalize the Positive

The Season 3 ‘Regional Holiday Music’ episode of Community is one for the books!

Peter Tosh – Legalize It (1976)

[Album 708/1001]

Does your country have a Marijuana Political Party?

Canada’s Federal Marijuana party made its debut in the year 2000.

They were a single-issue party with a succinct platform/slogan: Legalize It.

Perhaps voters appreciated the party’s clear vision as that year, at least in the ridings in which they nominated candidates, they earned almost 2% of the total votes.

However, in 2018, Canada legalized cannabis.

And when Canada decided to Legalize It, I’m sure I’m not the only one who pictured a line from Finding Nemo being quoted at Marijuana party headquarters.

Now what?

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Although his album title slogan would no longer be all that relevant in Canada, Peter Tosh’s Legalize It should still have an audience in 2020.

Whereas many likely classify this sort of album as summer listening, it’s exactly the type of music I appreciate in the winter.PeterTosh-LegalizeIt

In the same way I enjoy a bit of bleakness (such as Joy Division) in the heat of the summer, this Kingston, Jamaica studio recording provides a nice counterbalance to the sometimes less than wonderland-esque Kingston, Ontario winter weather.

And nodding my head along to the frequent song-opening percussion & off-beat guitar upstrokes here feels like an appropriate way in which to ring in the new year.

A happy 2020 to all!

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Verbalize the Positive

I gather Peter Tosh was an avid unicyclist – what a neat trick to break out at a concert!

Joan Baez – Joan Baez (1960)

[Album 707/1001]

“And Joan Baez, I never listened to too much jazz
But hippie songs could be heard in our pad…these are the songs I keep singin'”
– Weezer, Heart Songs

Lyrically, Weezer’s Heart Songs provides a neat glimpse into the music of Rivers Cuomo’s formative years.

And the eclectic mix of artists referenced in the track includes everything from Iron Maiden to Terrance Trent D’Arby, a “cat named Stevens” to Abba, Devo to Joan Baez.

According to weezerpedia, Rivers references a grand total of 23 artists in the tune.

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Untitled presentation (24)

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So what does Joan have in common with her fellow weezer influencers?

I’m not sure if there’s an answer beyond being the middle section of a ‘name-checked in Weezer’s Heart Songs‘ venn diagram – and despite being a longtime graph enthusiast, I fear that trying to create a 23-circle Venn diagram here as a visual aid would be more than a tad ambitious!

But I can see why the Cuomo family were Joan Baez fans.220px-JoanBaezAlbum

More importantly, I now see that their beloved blue album doesn’t happen without Joan Baez & co.

Would the riffs have been as good if Iron Maiden hadn’t taught Rivers how to shred?

Would the tunes have been so well crafted if it weren’t for Abba showing Mr. Cuomo how to write such perfect singles?

And finally, would the songs still work so well when stripped down to just vocals and acoustic guitar, as Joan Baez did so efficiently & effectively with her song arrangements here?

I would have to answer, probably not, to all of the above.

So my very belated thanks to you, Joan!

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Verbalize the Positive

Some of my favourite high school memories involve just vocals & guitar, singing the blue album with friends around campfires!