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Sister Sledge – We are Family (1979)

[Album 561/1001]

Restaurants will often suggest effective drink/meal pairings on their menus.

With the 1001 albums, I’ve found that there are some listen/activity pairings that I’d also recommend.

When I reviewed Chic’s C’est Chic a couple years ago, I learned that it paired very nicely with a watermelon &/or yogourt snack.

During one of my listens, my daughter (who was 1 at the time) happily bopped along to Freak Out while requesting more watermelon &/or yogourt.

As soon as I got a video of that, I knew the review was complete!

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So when I saw that “The Chic Organization” produced We Are Family, I had a feeling this Sister Sledge record might also work well as a soundtrack for play time, or perhaps snack time with my (now 3-year old) daughter.

Good, if unsurprising, news: the LP worked splendidly in that context.SIster_Sledge_We_Are_Family_1979

Although we didn’t document any of the dancing on video this time, I was certainly bopping along to He’s The Greatest Dancer and I was quite impressed when Becca was able to identify the title track based solely on the instrumental intro.

And speaking of restaurants, on our most recent listen/play session, we created an almost-too-appetizing looking meal together at the playdough table.

Check out the pizza that this toe-tapping Sister Sledge record helped create!

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Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate that my girls still want to play with dad – I’ll try to remember these days when they’re teenagers!

Artist of the Week – Quiz #33

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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

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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 Megadeth last week.

The results after 32 weeks:

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32 weeks

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Ready for Quiz #33?

Then let’s begin!

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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 #33
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..An American band, the lead singer’s birth name was Jeffrey Ross Hyman

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400 points………………..Although most popular in the 70s, the group enjoyed some success in the mid-90s with covers of I Don’t Want to Grow Up & the Spider-Man theme song

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300 points…………………The opening track, The Miracle (of J___ R______), of U2’s 2014 album/iTunes experiment, is a tribute to the aforementioned lead singer of this NYC band

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200 points………………….Although not actually related, the band members Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy shared a stage surname

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100 points………………..The artist is The R____________

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Answer: ال التعريف، رامونيس

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to my longtime friend Andy for introducing me to these guys back in the day.

And an even larger cheers to Andy for surprising me & getting us GNR tickets to tomorrow’s show, can’t wait!

The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust (1995)

[Album 560/1001]

“In 1995, you’ll twist to this
As you raise your fist to the music”
– Public Enemy, Brothers Gonna Work it Out

As a big Fear of a Black Planet fan, I was quite excited when I heard the opening line to Leave Home.

On the Exit Planet Dust opening track, I believe the line “Brothers Gonna Work it Out” ends up being repeated a couple dozen times.

Combine that with the fact that this track, one that listeners could easily dance or better yet twist to, was released in 1995?

Although I recognize Chuck (probably) wasn’t referring to this song directly, I was still practically giddy!

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While this album may have met the criteria for release year (1995) and twist-ability, the final part of the Chuck D quote just doesn’t apply to Exit Planet Dust.

Alas, at no point during my listens, was I inspired to raise my fist to the music.

It seems I struggle to invest emotionally in electronica.220px-Exit_planet_dust_album_cover

Ironically, although I imagine this music is designed to get people moving, I’m generally left unmoved.

With the exception of the vocal tracks.

Much like how Setting Sun stole the show on Dig Your Own Hole, Life is Sweet (featuring Tim Burgess from The Charlatans) and Alive Alone (featuring Beth Orton) are the standouts here.

So maybe I’m just not an instrumental electronica guy?

Perhaps this just isn’t fist-raising music?

Maybe I would have felt differently in 1995?

Quite possibly, as seeing that I was an awkward grade 8/9 in 1995, fist-raising (accompanied by some light twisting) might have been the only dance move in my repertoire!

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Verbalize the Positive

Credit to The Chemical Brothers for being my introduction to the genre a couple decades ago.

I’m guessing they were the gateway group for many!

Soft Cell – Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (1981)

[Album 559/1001]

“Say Hello then Wave Goodbye”
– Soft Cell, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

As confirmed by Wikipedia, Soft Cell’s debut album was released on November 27, 1981.

As confirmed by several official pieces of personal identification, I said hello to the world later that week!

Perhaps as a result, the above quote has been running through my head whenever I think about Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.

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The majority of the albums on the 1001 list are ‘new-to-me’; in a way, I’m saying “hello” to these albums.

Many of these albums will have similar “hello” stories for me, in that the album was somehow made available for listening, usually either bought/borrowed/streamed.

I say “hello” to the album, “then” I listen.

The “then” stories will also be eerily similar at first, as I insist on listening to each of the albums twice before locking in a review.

However, the stories begin to diverge from there.

With some albums, the “then” stage will not extend beyond the requisite listens; I’ll say “goodbye” and move on with life.220px-Soft_Cell_-_Non-Stop_Erotic_Cabaret_album_cover

With others, even years later, I’m still fully immersed in “then,” replaying the records over and over again, with no intention on bidding them adieu.

And my experience with Non-Stop Exotic Caberet likely fits somewhere in between; favourable, if not gushing, a keeper, but likely destined to spend more time on the shelf than in the rotation.

Or more visually, compared/contrasted with a pair of other dance/electronic albums (The KLF & Pet Shop Boys) for context:

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Verbalize the Positive

It was a nice surprise hearing Tainted Love in No Frills yesterday, I happily sang along as I picked up our family groceries!

Megadeth – Rust in Peace (1990)

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 558/1001]

Have you read the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck?

It’s an interesting read, with a particularly engaging chapter about Dave Mustaine.

The author, Mark Manson, argued that Mustaine used ‘lousy’ (my slightly gentler term) metrics to measure his life.

Despite selling 25 million records with Megadeth, Mustaine considered himself a failure because the band he was kicked out of (Metallica) had sold many more.

Was/is Megadeth a great group?

It didn’t matter to Mustaine, as all he could see was the relative lack of commercial success compared to Metallica.

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In fairness to Dave, he’s not alone in finding Metallica & Megadeth to be inextricably linked.

The band fonts aren’t exactly dissimilar (alas, neither opted for Comic Sans MS) and I’d wager 90% of people my age arrived at Megadeth via Metallica (and not vice versa).

Can I appreciate Megadeth as a stand-alone band?

Without comparing them to that other band?

I’m going to try!

Top 5 Metrics
to view Rust in Peace as a stand-alone success

5. The significant basslines
On tracks like Dawn Patrol

4. The album art 220px-Megadeth-RustInPeace
Vic Rattlehead returns!

3. The album length
As my friend HMO would say, a running time of 40 minutes is a golden running time.

2. The tight, abrupt endings
Notably on Lucretia, Tornado of Souls…actually most of the songs!

1. The riffs
Absolutely no shortage of ’em here.

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Verbalize the Positive

I like when an album gets my attention right off the bat.

Of course, the opening tape noise didn’t hurt, but that opening riff established the tone in a hurry!

POST-SCRIPT:

I forgot I’d scheduled this Post to ‘publish’ automatically on Wednesday – which means it went ‘live’ before I added this great quote by Mike “LeBrain” Ladano.

Thanks Mike!

“I consider Rust in Peace to be the pinnacle of quality for this band.  It was their best lineup (rest in peace Nick Menza) and had some of their most ambitious material.  Plus I’m just a sucker for songs related to aliens and UFOs.  Hangar 18 is Dave Mustaine’s take on a famous conspiracy theory, not to be missed by any fan of the genre.” – LeBrain, August 2017

Artist of the Week – Quiz #32

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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

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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 Bee Gees last week.

The results after 31 weeks:

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after 31

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Ready for Quiz #32?

Shall we?

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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!

.

Artist of the Week #32
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..The illustrated mascot on this American band’s album art is named Vic Rattlehead

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400 points………………..This quartet is considered to be one of the ‘Big 4’ of thrash metal

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300 points…………………The lead singer of this group was the original lead guitarist of Metallica

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200 points………………….Their 2 albums on the 1001 list are (the chattily-titled) Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying? and Rust in Peace

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100 points………………..The artist is M____________.

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Answer: الموت الكبير
(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

A tip of the hat to my metal friends who scored 500 points before they even finished reading the first clue!

Bee Gees – Trafalgar (1971)

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 557/1001]

Good life advice: Manage expectations.

Though I’ve always thought of that as “don’t get your hopes up,” in order to prevent the inevitable disappointment when things don’t meet your lofty expectations.

For example, I was likely guilty of unreasonably high expectations for The Dandy Warhols Come Down; as a result, what is possibly a good record was interpreted as somewhat underwhelming.

However, I’m curious if over-managed expectations, or insufficiently high hopes, may be equally problematic.

Such as with the Bee Gees, and albums like Trafalgar (or Odessa for that matter).

Going into the 1001 project, I had such low expectations for my potential Bee Gees enjoyment that these possibly good records ended up feeling like hidden gems.Bgs_trafalgar

Or maybe they really are gems, they’re just no longer hidden?

After 2 pleasant surprises this week, are my expectations now climbing to unreasonably high levels for the Bee Gees?

On future Bee Gees albums, will I therefore have to reduce the height of my hopes to avoid disappointment?

In any event, I managed to make it through multiple listens this week without once saying, to borrow a Trafalgar tune name, Somebody Stop the Music.

And that’s something I certainly wouldn’t have expected.

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Verbalize the Positive

Mmmmmmm Ontario Peaches!