Recent comments

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   6 days 11 hours ago

    It's a great, great song. One of the most perfect lead-off songs in rock history. In a sense, a 6 minute song that is 7.2 is more impressive than a 40 minute album that is 7.2, because the song has accomplished the same emotional/conceptual depth in 1/7th the time frame. By this token, I should -- out of respect -- list songs 7.0 - 7.2 but that would be a ridiculous task right now, especially getting them all in order. It seems unfair to not list many short songs that are 7's because -- "efficiency-wise" -- they are just as impressive as many of the long songs that occupy most of my 7.3+ list. It is apparently very very difficult for an artist to create a 7.3+ work in anything less than, say, 6 minutes. This is simply because it is difficult to develop that much emotional/conceptual depth in that amount of time. Maybe I'll put a separate "short songs" list together at a later time down the road, or try and sum up the endurance to produce a 7.0 - 7.2 ratings bracket onto my current list, because those songs deserve it...

    Anyway, it was a very close call. It wasn't really demoted (qualitatively), just that my assessment of 7.3+ ratings are becoming increasingly strict/"accurate" (within my criteria), and it's (probably) just not quite as impressive as what's listed. Perhaps it's unfair to say because the song has a certain perfection of composition/form as many Dylan's do, but if it built up/ascended just a little bit more it probably would be enough for 7.3. Desolation Row is slightly more emotionally/conceptually extraordinary and more transcendent overall, but it's quite close. Ballad of a Thin Man wouldn't be too far below those either. From Blonde On Blonde, Visions of Johanna is another one that's very close (either 7.3 or just below). Still under consideration...

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   6 days 11 hours ago

    Holy hell The River sounds amazing! In many places, its sound reminds me of Underwater Moonlight (of all albums). Real good stuff.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   6 days 11 hours ago

    Looking at your comment and your list of greatest albums (which features very few easy-going and happy albums), I get the impression that Revolver is so far up in the easy-going happy range that it's just not that interesting to you. I agree with most of what you're saying about Forever Changes and its evocative spaced-out emotional sound, but Revolver is just as good and even better. If you don't dismiss the content based on the complex (and mostly irrelevant) historical context, Revolver is enjoyable as a personal, spaced-out, evocative and complete album with a happy vision. The emotional depth and musical significance of the album are only there if you're willing to go along with their happy vision as much as Forever Changes' dread and doom. Of course you don't have to embrace it, but that doesn't make Revolver any less good.

    There would be no Rock music as we know it today if Revolver was never released, and that's not because of dumb luck. Beatlemania was a hilarious thing that made the Beatles the most famous artists on earth. But unlike nearly all other world-famous stars, the Beatles invented a prototype for the rock album that invents and amplifies some of rock music's best characteristics:

    - Reconstructing and fusing different methods of songwriting in order to get original material with original effect. They continued this thread with their subsequent albums but Revolver is the only LP where this quality is consistently visible and successful. Besides setting a great example for innovation as major world-class artists (which influenced everybody, including Holger Czukay, Bruce Springsteen and Robert Fripp), this is one of the trickiest things to do in the context of mainstream music, and everybody else is trying to pull it off one way or another, but nobody (except Rolling Stones and Prince, I guess) came close to the level of Beatles in this aspect.

    - Use of studio and painstaking mixing methods to gain maximum effect from songwriting, arranging and improvisation for a unified powerful sound. Like Zappa but in a different context with different methods for different results.

    - All-encompassing fusion with all sorts of music from all around the world (from classical to raga to tape loops to soul to anything). This is one of the qualities that gives rock music an advantage over classical and jazz music (not to imply that it's exclusive to rock, but it's much more evident in both mainstream and avant-garde rock compared to classical and jazz music). Revolver is one of the earliest, most influential and most diverse albums to have this quality.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   6 days 12 hours ago

    You used to be so amused
    At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
    Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
    When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
    You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal
    How does it feel?

    I still remember my jaw dropping the first time I focused on the lyrics and got to these magnificent lines. To this day I haven't heard something as biting and utterly cruel as this. Around the time I got into Like a Rolling Stone, I became a hardcore Dylan fan for a year or so, until I basically overdosed on his music.

    Any particular reason for the demotion? Of course the song is not the most musically accomplished piece of work ever (it sounds mighty fine to me, but I can see how it could easily be nothing special to someone else), but the lyrics and the voice are truly something.

  • Books Read in 2015   6 days 14 hours ago


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  • Favorite albums   1 week 16 hours ago

    Joni Mitchell's Blue and Red House Painters' Rollercoaster are equivalent, different because one is male and the one is female but ultimately the same. The male follows his male nature, the female follows her female nature. By meditating on the other, they become equal. They want to return to the world ("This Flight Tonight," "Mistress") but also want to escape ("River," "Take Me Out") - i.e., they're in the mood for a relationship, but they're not.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   1 week 1 day ago

    Thanks, I'll revisit it -- hopefully soon.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   1 week 1 day ago

    That's the stuff, but I don't think Alorwoyie has any albums out. For albums I would look to the Master Drummers of Dagbon CD (2008), or Smithsonian Folkways.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   1 week 2 days ago

    I would say The Beatles created their own style of music to work in and stayed with it. That style was a melody driven blend of 50s rock&roll and early 60s r&b which developed and matured through the decade, almost against the tide towards the end, rather than metamorphize itself into the instrument-driven rock that dominated the late 60s and the most of the 70s. By the end of their run they had their style perfected, a very flexible style that had been permeable to and experimented with all sorts of influences from their time but never succumbed to any of the new musical trends. I believe this was an artistic choice, not a proof of their musical incompetence to play like The Stones or Velvet Underground, not even a sign of artistic delay (can you really deny, like Scaruffi, their importance on the artistic development of rock music during their experimentations with folk, psychedelia, raga, or classical music?). The Beatles were particularly inventive in the way they put new things together and adapted them into their style. This was a quality Love lacked. They didn't have a defined style and went with the trends throughout their career. Forever Changes is a unique album only because of the peculiar melancholic feel and Lee's lyrics, not because it brought new musical ideas to the table. Revolver is more original in every way possible and FC wouldn't have been possible without its innovations. "Dreamy", "sunny beauty", "spaced out", "drugged" are qualities better expressed in Revolver. As for emotionality it's all subjective. Nothing on Forever Changes moves me more than And Your Bird Can Sing, but I've heard people cry listening to You Set The Scene.

  • Greatest Rock Albums   1 week 3 days ago

    Totally agree. The whole album is so evocative as you've described, and I think those last couple tracks reach levels of transcendence rarely approached.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   1 week 3 days ago

    Fear of a Black Planet and Nation of Millions are in the same ballpark, each towering above the the other in its own way. I prefer Fear of a Black Planet. Nation of Millions has some amazing highs but on the other hand some of the songs sound like juvenile filler (Cold Lampin' with Flavor takes the cake), whereas nothing interrupts the mood on Fear of a Black Planet.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   1 week 3 days ago

    The fact that I've only listened to Reich's drumming, I guess! I'd love to hear the Ghanaian drumming. A quick search brought up master Gideon Alorwoyie, Reich's teacher. Is that the stuff?

  • Music Ratings & Notes   1 week 3 days ago

    Banging the Door has one the most killer grooves ever. It can make an amazing hip hop sample, although the song itself is basically hip hop in a very twisted sort of way.

  • Greatest Rock Albums   1 week 4 days ago

    Indeed..The most cinematic music on my list outside of Peter Gabriel's Passion. The album feels like drunken blurry wander through a foreign futuristic city

  • Greatest Rock Albums   1 week 4 days ago

    Some interesting developments! It looks like you might be going through a similar affluence of admiration for Hex as I did not too long ago. Ill be revisiting it soon to assess how well it still holds up. Not sure if it will remain a 9 for me, but it will assuredly be at least 8/10 and I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in the 8.5 range.

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   1 week 4 days ago

    Update 27 - 27 September

    The changes for this update are: bpchicky climbed 2 spots to claim 9th place, nukualofa tied for 13th with danvers, hinterland broke the tie with nybella to claim a solo 23rd. Good jobs, all.

    As a group we logged 131 movies since the last update for a total of 5114 films. For the next update on 11 October, the numbers for 1 and 2 films per day are 284 and 568, respectively. Happy viewing and see you next time! God willin' and creek don't rise.

  • Greatest Rock Albums   1 week 4 days ago

    Albums added:
    Forever Changes-Love-9/67
    Volume Two-Soft Machine-3/69
    Rumours-Fleetwood Mac-8/76
    For Your Pleasure-Roxy Music-2/73
    Gris-Gris-Dr. John-11/67
    Another Green World-Brian Eno-8/75
    Sister-Sonic Youth-4/87
    Inside Out-John Martyn-7/73
    Vincebus Eruptum-Blue Cheer-12/67
    It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest-Fugs-6/68
    Graceland-Paul Simon-6/86

    Albums now excluded:
    The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle-Bruce Springsteen-9/73
    Eat A Peach-Allman Brothers Band-12/71
    Barrett-Syd Barrett-7/70
    Creedence Clearwater Revival-Bayou Country-12/68
    Funeral-Arcade Fire-1/04
    Late For The Sky-Jackson Browne-7/74

    Biggest increases among albums still included (> +.2)
    Fun House-Stooges-5/70
    We're Only In It For The Money-Frank Zappa-10/67
    Radio Ethiopia-Patti Smith-8/76
    Horses-Patti Smith-9/75
    Daydream Nation-Sonic Youth-8/88
    Spirit Of Eden-Talk Talk-3/88
    Indian War Whoop-Holy Modal Rounders-6/67
    Absolutely Free-Frank Zappa-11/66
    Zen Arcade-Hüsker Dü-10/83
    If I Could Only Remember My Name-David Crosby-1/71
    Trout Mask Replica-Captain Beefheart-3/69
    Da Capo-Love-10/66
    Exile On Main St.-Rolling Stones-3/72
    Kick Out The Jams-MC5-10/68
    I Could Live In Hope-Low-10/94
    Fire Of Love-Gun Club-5/81
    Meet The Residents-Residents-10/73
    Happy Sad-Tim Buckley-12/68

    Biggest decreases among albums still included (> .2)
    Are You Experienced-Jimi Hendrix-4/67
    White Light/White Heat-Velvet Underground-9/67
    Violent Femmes-Violent Femmes-7/82
    Electric Ladyland-Jimi Hendrix-8/68
    Tago Mago-Can-2/71
    Blonde On Blonde-Bob Dylan-3/66

    Estimates for undecided albums with high potential for inclusion:
    Hex-Bark Psychosis-11/93 (8.3-8.8)
    Passion: Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ-Peter Gabriel-3/89 (7.8-8.3)
    Song Cycle-Van Dyke Parks-10/67 (7.5-7.8)

  • Music Ratings & Notes   1 week 4 days ago

    I enjoyed your write up on Slow Deep and Hard and also Fear of a Black Planet. Its been probably 15 years or so since I listened to that one. I remember thinking it was in the same qualitative ballpark as Nation of Millions, but I wonder what Id think about it now.

  • The Greatest Albums Ever   1 week 4 days ago

    Yo, what makes Reich's Drumming stand out for you over the Ghanaian drumming it uses as its source?

  • Criteria Used For Evaluating Artistic Merit in Music   1 week 5 days ago

    Thanks! I updated criteria 3, sgt pepper's, some grammar, and the flow.

  • Criteria Used For Evaluating Artistic Merit in Music   1 week 5 days ago

    I'm not totally sure what you changed because it's been a few months since I last read this, but it does seem like it reads even better and is really well put together.

  • Year-by-year music rankings   1 week 5 days ago
  • Criteria Used For Evaluating Artistic Merit in Music   1 week 5 days ago

    Clarification Nation

  • "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die"   2 weeks 20 min ago

    2015 update:

    American Hustle
    Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Le gamin au vélo
    Le Scaphandre et le Papillon
    Tree of Life
    Tian Zhu Ding

    Under the Skin
    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Theory of Everything
    Grand Budapest Hotel