Liner Notes

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Further Out

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Skipping Kashmere, because I've already listened to it, next on the list of songs from the Baby Driver Soundtrack is Unsquare Dance by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. By the time both of the aforementioned songs played in the movie, I was already in love w/the music. So when two songs in a row came up that I thought were not super well known but I still recognized I felt pretty full of myself. I've been a fan of Dave Brubeck for a long time, but aside from listening to Time Out a couple times, I'm not sure I've ever actually listened to one of his albums before. But I have listened to a handful of his songs many times on shuffle.

At any rate, while listening to this album today I had a strange feeling. I was enjoying the album but aside from a couple of standout tracks (Unsquare Dance and Bru's Boogie Woogie in particular) there was nothing noteworthy about this album. But then it occurred to me that the fact that this album is sort of unremarkable is, in itself, remarkable. The first two tracks on this album are in 3/4 time (think waltz). The next two in 4/4, like most modern/pop music. After that, the time signature keeps … advancing? The thing that happens with the "tempos" as the liner notes refer to them is unique; which means I don't even know how to describe what they're doing. After the 4/4 songs is a 5/4, followed by a 6/4, then 7/4, then 8/8 and finally 9/8. The fact that this album has songs in so many wacky time signatures (the only other song I can even think of in 7/4 is Pink Floyd's Money), yet somehow seems a little too run of the mill is astonishing in hindsight. The quartet managed to make weirdly nerdy music while also keeping it accessible.

Liner Notes

Carla Thomas – Carla

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I really enjoyed this album. It's not often I listen to old school R&B, but I enjoy it every time. You'd think I'd learn something from that. B-A-B-Y (track #1) is the song from Baby Driver that inspired me to listen to this one, and it's a great start to a record. Some of the better songs on the soundtrack were only released as singles. Harlem Shuffle was one, but I found the Stones cover. I failed to mention yesterday that track #4 on the soundtrack is Smokey Joe's La La by Googie Rene, which is another. I would have really liked to hear more of his stuff, but I couldn't find any evidence that he ever released a full album at all, let alone w/Smokey Joe's La La on it. All that to say I was kind of expecting that to be the case for this one, too. It turns out Carla Thomas put out 6 studio albums. Now that I'm thinking about it, I remember that they actually show the album in the movie, so I don't know why I was assuming that. Oh, and those 6 albums don't include a collaboration with Otis Redding! After enjoying Carla so much, I may have to add that album to my list, and check it out once this soundtrack expedition is complete. Although I'm only on track #6 of 30, so it'll be a while.

I don't think I disliked anything on this album. I've been listening to it on repeat for hours. If I had to guess, I've probably listened to it a half dozen times today. The sadder songs are still pretty good, but I find myself enjoying them less. That's much less about the quality of the songs than the mood of them, which don't match my current one. That said, there aren't really any standouts for me; even B-A-B-Y. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me caught my attention, but I'm pretty sure it's because I'm familiar with a different version. Dusty Springfield has the canonical English version (she was covering an Italian song), which is probably what I've been thinking of. I haven't listened to it yet, though, because I've been enjoying Carla too much.

Liner Notes

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

⭐️⭐️⭐️

HEY DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT SOMETIMES BRIAN WILSON FELT VERY SAD?!

If you didn't, you must never have heard I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, because he says it about a thousand times in the chorus.

Pet Sounds is one of those albums that I've heard so many good things about that I always wanted to sit down and listen to it. I'm pretty sure it was on my list to check out for this blog even before hearing Let's Go Away For Awhile in the Baby Driver soundtrack. I think in this case it may have been a victim of its own infamy, because aside from the songs I already knew — Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B, and God Only Knows — I didn't really care for or about Pet Sounds at all. Some of it I even found pretty annoying (see example above).

I kind of get the feeling that this may also be another case of having fallen into the Confederacy of Dunces trap I've written about here and elsewhere. This was a groundbreaking album, but that was 50 years ago. That broken ground has been patched, paved over, and torn up again multiple times. In other words, maybe it's too late for me to truly appreciate it for how ahead of its time it was.

Liner Notes, Uncategorized

Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

★★★

I started watching season 7 of The Walking Dead last night, and in the second episode there’s a choral version of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, which is side 2, track 1 of this album. There are some other really great songs on this record too; Blowin’ in the Wind and A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall I was already familiar with. The real shocker to me was Girl from the North Country, which somehow I had never heard before but absolutely loved. The rest of the album was not really noteworthy to me. I could have taken or left all the other tracks. I probably won’t come back to this album again, but I hope to hear Girl from the North Country many more times.

Liner Notes

Etta James – Etta James Rocks the House

★★★★★

  1. Something’s Got a Hold on Me: 👍🏻
  2. Baby What You Want Me to Do: 👍🏻
  3. What’d I Say: 👍🏻
  4. Money (That’s What I Want): 👍🏻
  5. Seven Day Fool: 👍🏻
  6. Sweet Little Angel: 👍🏻
  7. Ooh Poo Pah Doo: 👍🏻
  8. Woke Up This Morning: 👍🏻
  9. Ain’t That Loving You Baby: 👍🏻
  10. All I Could Do Was Cry: 👍🏻
  11. I Just Want to Make Love to You: 👍🏻

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Liner Notes

Frank Zappa – Hot Rats

★★★★

  1. Peaches en Regalia: 👍🏻
  2. Willie the Pimp: 👍🏻
  3. Son of Mr. Green Genes: 👍🏻
  4. Little Umbrellas: 🤷‍♂️
  5. The Gumbo Variations: 👍🏻
  6. It Must Be a Camel: 👎🏻

When I think of The Great Rock & Roll Riffs™ many come to mind: James Gang’s Funk #49Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold.  The openings of Can’t You Hear Me Knocking and The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair by The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, respectively. Obviously we have to include Walk This Way by Aerosmith. I think a strong case can also be made for Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy.

Even though it’s a publicly accessible site this blog is much more for me, personally, than for you, Dear Reader. Making these public is just a way for me to try to force myself to stay on track and keep this project up and running as long as I can.

But I will say, if you read this site and get nothing else out of it but the following, I will feel as though this project has been a success: The [what I think is] violin riff on Willie the Pimp deserves to be on that list as much as any of the ones I listed above.