Thursday, June 9, 2022

Ranking the albums of Arcade Fire

Ca. 2013: Richard Reed Parry, Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Will Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld, Jeremy Gara

Arcade Fire's latest LP, We, has been out in the world for a few weeks now. In case you missed it, I did a video review of it last month over on Geezerology's YouTube channel.

In a nutshell, I did like the album quite a bit but slammed the consensus critical assessment that We was a return to form or a comeback album for Arcade Fire.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Celebrating 20: A double dose of Tom Waits

Twenty years ago, on May 4, 2002, Tom Waits released two albums, Alice and Blood Money. They were the 14th and 15th studio albums of Waits' career, dating back 29 years at that point, to March 1973.

It is quite unusual, of course, for a recording artist to release two LPs on the same day. But Waits wasn't the first. Guns and Roses did it, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello had done this previously, for various reasons.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Geezerology Roundtable: The Doors struck out as a trio

The four members of The Doors had finished up recording LA Woman in January 1971. And their lead singer, Jim Morrison, was exhausted after a whirlwind five years of recording and touring and drinking and fighting the law -- all with the eyes of the Western world watching and recording and commenting on his every move.

So Morrison decided it was time for a break. He told his bandmates he was going to Paris to drop off the face of the earth for awhile. He wanted to clear his head, write some poetry, hide out and spend some quality time with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson. And he told his buddies, the three guys who were the most important people in his life and his career, not to worry. He told them the move wasn't permanent, that he would be back home in a few months to face the music in his battle with Miami prosecutors and to make more music with The Doors, who seemed to have found a creative second wind with their move into their own rehearsal and studio space in West Hollywood, CA.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Midnight Oil's new album well worth the wait

Resist is an exceptionally strong Midnight Oil album. As a big Midnight Oil fan from about 35 years ago, I can report that this one is as good an effort as anyone could have expected. This one won't go down, at least in my book, as the strongest Midnight Oil effort.

But it will go down as one hell of a closing chapter in the band's legacy, if this is indeed the final chapter, as has been reported. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Celebrating 50: Neil Young's fourth was a bountiful Harvest

The success of the half-century-old Harvest may have put the always-acerbic, eccentric and cantankerous Neil Young uncomfortably, as he puts it, “in the middle of the road.” But it also gave him the freedom to steer “for the ditch” to experiment in more esoteric styles such as electronica, swing, rockabilly, blues and jazz.

While Young has careened to and fro with these varied musical styles, so far out in left field that he was sued by his record company for not delivering commercially viable albums, Young is best-known for working in two distinct rock subgenres: crunching, electric grunge and acoustic folk, often with a country tinge.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Celebrating 40: Lou Reed turned a corner with The Blue Mask

The Blue Mask, released on Feb. 23, 1982, was not Lou Reed's declaration of late-blooming adulthood as he approached his 40th birthday a week later.

His previous record, 1980's Growing Up In Public, was the one on which Reed told the world he had found true love with Sylvia Morales and that his days as a debauched rock-and-roll animal were behind him.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Geezerology Roundtable: Rollin' on the kid's coattails

Ca. 1968: Tom Fogerty, Clifford, Cook, John Fogerty

Tom Fogerty had just graduated from high school in the San Francisco Bay area when he got his first big break in the music business. His band, Spider Webb and the Insects, got a recording contract from Del-Fi Records down in Hollywood, CA.

But the Insects disintegrated in 1959 before they could even got a record released. The disappointed yet still determined singer-guitarist, approaching his 18th birthday, went back home and hooked up with The Blue Velvets, a band formed by his 14-year-old brother, John, and the kid's school chums Doug Clifford and Stu Cook.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Geezerology Roundtable: A look back at Jimi Hendrix' debut

Jimi Hendrix finally made a splash in his homeland in 1967, thanks to more than a little help from his friends.

The talented young guitar player from Seattle knocked around the United States for a few years before Chas Chandler heard Jimmy James and his band playing in a small club in New York in 1966. Chandler was wrapping up his final tour as bass player with The Animals and was contemplating getting into the management side of the music business.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Garland Jeffreys nailed it with Escape Artist

This was a working script for a recent video I recorded for the Geezerology YouTube channel:

Garland Jeffreys is a singer-songwriter of mixed-ethnic heritage from Brooklyn, born in 1943. He was a contemporary of Lou Reed and Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals as a student at Stanford University in the early 1960s.