Liner Notes

John Spencer Blues Explosion – Orange


I've been totally obsessed with the Baby Driver soundtrack since I saw the movie. Since I can't get over how good it is enough to start listening to new stuff, I decided I'd try something else: listen to the albums each of the songs were originally on. This is not a perfect plan, as you'll soon see, but it's not the worst idea I've ever had.

The first song on the soundtrack is also the first track on this album: Bellbottoms. It's a great way to start (an album or a movie). There are some other pretty good tracks after it, but it is pretty much all downhill. One thing I didn't realize until way too late is that the iTunes version of this album is about 3 times the actual running length and is overall much worse quality than the original 13 tracks. The bonus stuff suffers even more from what I didn't like about this album: it's intentionally lo-fi in a lot of places. Somewhere I saw this band described as Blues/Punk, which I didn't think could even be a thing until listening to this record. If I had to guess the intentional lo-fi stuff is to further emphasize the "punk," but I found it to be distracting. Particularly Flavor, which features Beck. It sounds like Beck literally phoned it in; either because he did, or because they added some filter that makes it sound like he's singing through the phone. There are some really good riffs in many of these songs, but they can't seem to get out of their own way a lot of the time. Cowboy is another good example. The song's not bad, but it's sung in this over the top fake southern drawl that takes away from the song much more than it adds to it.

I suspect that most of this experiment will be discovering that the best songs on the album were the ones that made the soundtrack. It's certainly the case for Bellbottoms and Orange. We'll see how the rest goes.

Liner Notes

Green Day – Dookie


One of my favorite stories from my childhood involves this album. It was my first CD. I got it and a Sony Discman for my 13th birthday. At my party, my conservative Catholic uncle took the CD insert from me to show my dad the lyrics to Longview. “It’s too late now,” my dad said. “He’s had the cassette since Easter.”

That was 20 years ago today, and I think I enjoyed listening to it again today as much as I did then. I can’t tell you when the last time was that I actually sat down and listened to this record. I can tell you that I still remember almost all of the lyrics, and I still like almost every single song (never did care for that bonus track). I remember reading somewhere that the reason music you listened to you when you were in your early teens sticks with you so hard has to do with the actual structure of your brain at that age. I guess that’s why I love this album so much; I’m doomed to love it forever.

Liner Notes

Pink Floyd – The Division Bell


It’s kind of hard to describe the YouTube show Signal Boost. Ostensibly it’s just a show where invited guests “Boost” some of their favorite things so viewers can check out cool new (or old) comics or movies or what have you. But then it gets into all this weird meta-humor that makes it hard to just pick up a random episode. I mention all that because I watched the latest episode yesterday, and the host of the episode, Mischa Pollack, boosted The Division Bell. So I listened to it on my 2 hour drive home for my dad’s birthday last night.

It’s not my favorite Pink Floyd album, but I did enjoy it. I listened to it once and then almost all the way through again yesterday on the drive, and I’m about 2/3 of the way through it again now. There’s not really any standout songs that I would come back to. That said, I did find the album oddly meditative, which suited my drive home quite well. I find driving to be similarly meditative. That would make this a good road trip album. It would be good to throw on, too when you want something that won’t steal your focus away from whatever you’re doing. Like background noise. I guess that makes this elevator music? That might be a stretch, but Track #1 (Cluster One) definitely sounds like something that would be playing in Heaven’s waiting room.

Here’s that episode of Signal Boost:

Liner Notes

Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die


  1. Intro: 🤷‍♂️
  2. Things Done Changed: 🤷‍♂️
  3. Gimme the Loot: 👎🏻
  4. Machine Gun Funk: 🤷‍♂️
  5. Warning: 👍🏻
  6. Ready to Die: 👍🏻
  7. One More Chance: 🤷‍♂️
  8. Fuck Me (Interlude): 👎🏻
  9. The What: 🤷‍♂️
  10. Juicy: 👍🏻
  11. Everyday Struggle: 👍🏻
  12. Me & My Bitch: 👎🏻
  13. Big Poppa: 🤷‍♂️
  14. Respect: 👍🏻
  15. Friend of Mine: 🤷‍♂️
  16. Unbelievable: 🤷‍♂️
  17. Suicidal Thoughts: 👎🏻
  18. Who Shot Ya?: 🤷‍♂️
  19. Just Playing (Dreams): 🤷‍♂️

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