Liner Notes

The Damned – Damned Damned Damned

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Neat Neat Neat is both the opening track on this album, and the one included in the Baby Driver Soundtrack. That seems to be a recurring theme. I think at least half of the albums I’ve listened to so far that have a song in the soundtrack had the song in question as track #1. It keeps reminding me of the “Desert Island All Time Top 5 Side 1 Track 1” conversation from High Fidelity. I’m not sure what it was about the song that got my hopes up so high for this record. It was probably the really great chase scene that it was used in. At any rate, I wouldn’t say my hopes were dashed, but they were certainly unwarranted. This album is not really anything to write home about. It’s not bad, though. The more I listened to it, the more it grew on me, too. And since it’s only 34 minutes long, I was able to listen to it a bunch today. I think probably the most enjoyment I got out of it, though, was learning the stage names of the band’s lead guitar and drummer: Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies (respectively). Amazing.

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

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, Uncategorized

Harry Styles – Harry Styles

★★★

Once I realized who Harry Styles was, I thought my brother was trolling me with this recommendation. It turns out it wasn’t all that bad. Better than Ed Sheeran at any rate.

I think I liked the opening track Meet Me in the Hallway the most. Probably because it reminded me of the tracks Jemaine Clement has done imitating Bowie. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about (the music is from Rick and Morty; the video from Doctor Strange):

The rest of the album didn’t make much of an impact for me. But given that I didn’t have to force myself to listen to it until the end, I’d say it exceeded expectations.

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

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

Chinese Man – Sho-Bro

★★★

  1. Sho-Bro feat. A-Plus, Pep Love & Knobody (CHINESE MAN): 👍🏻
  2. The Reminder (CHINESE MAN): 🤷‍♂️
  3. Run Run Run (Scatter) – CHILL BUMP remix: 🤷‍♂️
  4. Siempre Estas – HIGH TONE remix Part 1: 👎🏻
  5. Hancock – AL’TARBA remix: 👎🏻
  6. Sho – Bro – DJ NU-MARK remix: 🤷‍♂️
  7. Don’t Scream – SMOKEY JOE & THE KID remix: 🤷‍♂️
  8. Siempre Estas – HIGH TONE remix Part 2: 🤷‍♂️

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Liner Notes

The Reverend Horton Heat – REV

★★★

  1. Victory Lap: 👍🏻
  2. Smell of Gasoline: 👍🏻
  3. Never Gonna Stop It: 🤷‍♂️
  4. Zombie Dumb: 🤷‍♂️
  5. Spooky Boots: 🤷‍♂️
  6. Schizoid: 👍🏻
  7. Scenery Going By: 🤷‍♂️
  8. My Hat: 👎🏻
  9. Let Me Teach You How To Eat: 🤷‍♂️
  10. Mad Mad Heart: 🤷‍♂️
  11. Longest Gonest Man: 👍🏻
  12. Hardscrabble Women: 🤷‍♂️
  13. Chasing Rainbows: 👎🏻

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Liner Notes

Spoon – A Series of Sneaks

★★★

  1. Utilitarian: 👍🏻
  2. The Minor Tough: 🤷‍♂️
  3. Execution: 👍🏻
  4. Reservations: 🤷‍♂️
  5. 30 Gallon Tank: 👍🏻
  6. Car Radio: 👍🏻
  7. Metal Detektor: 🤷‍♂️
  8. June’s Foreign Spell: 🤷‍♂️
  9. Chloroform: 👎🏻
  10. Metal School: 🤷‍♂️
  11. Staring at the Board: 👎🏻
  12. No You’re Not: 🤷‍♂️
  13. Quincy Punk Episode: 👍🏻
  14. Advance Cassette: 👍🏻
  15. Laffitte Don’t Fail Me Now: 👍🏻
  16. The Agony of Laffitte: 👎🏻

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