All posts by freealonzo

FMD — Wither CDs?

There was an article this week that Best Buy will stop selling CDs sometime this summer. I'm sure Spooky has good insider info on this but its no surprise, the CD section in BB has been shrinking for years. Quite the switch from maybe 10 years ago when there were aisles of CDs. It was the place to go to get a wide variety of music.

The article also stated that Target is still selling CDs but increasingly asking the label companies to provide the discs on consignment so that they aren't holding unsold music.

Do you still buy CDs? If so from where? If not, do you just stream or download music from iTunes, etc. Or have you have gone all vinyl? I'm a mix of buying CDs, streaming, and downloading. If I stream something enough, I typically go and a acquire it. I also still get music from the library as well.

Drop your lists.

FMD — Spiritual Dylan

Late 2017, the latest Bob Dylan bootleg series was released. This covered the “Christian” Dylan years of 1979-81. Is as usual with the Bootleg series, there is a large (in this case 13 CDs) release and a 2-CD “Best of.” I was always interested in this phase of Dylan but woefully uninformed, except for a couple of songs, specifically Gotta Serve Somebody. So I picked up the two CD set and was immediately blown away.

Most of the tracks are live renditions from this period, a time when Dylan’s band was excellent. Also the crowd’s were a little on edge as they wanted to hear the hits and let’s face it, Dylan always responds when the crowd’s on edge. Although not included on the 2-CD set, Dylan was actually testifying to the crowd during these shows. (some of these sermons are included on the 13 CD set or can be found on You Tube.) One particular incendiary song is Blessed is the Name, which I am pretty sure is a Psalm I’ve sung at Catholic Mass.

Anyway, if at all interested in this era of Dylan, I would strongly recommend picking up the 2 CD set. It’s a fascinating look at a fascinating phase of a fascinating artist.

Go forth and drop they lists.

The Smithereens — Behind the Wall of Sleep

It got lost in the end of year Best Of's but sadly Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens died in December. Jersey rockers to the core, The Smithereens were banging it out for over 30 years with some national success in the late 80s. Pat DiNizio was the voice and considered an all around great guy. He'll be missed.

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FMD — More Cowbell!

I have a soft spot in my heart for songs that include a well placed cowbell. Typically at the end of a song when the cowbell comes out of nowhere and signals that the end of the song is upon us.

One great example is the cowbell at the end of the Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers. The cowbell comes in right near the end of the song at the 3:48 mark. Two stark and clear peals, it’s off the beat and partly masks Mick’s singing but provides such a coda. The cowbell effectively ends the song and is the ultimate kiss off on what is an excellent kiss off song. It’s a great little touch from Charlie Watts.

Another great example is the cowbell at the end of The Replacements’ Don’t Ask Why. Different from Dead Flowers in that its part of the cacophony at the end of the song. It first comes at 1:41 of the song and and its three strikes mirror Paul singing “Don’t Ask Why.” Actually the first time there is only 2 peals and I always wondered if that was an error. Technically I don’t think this is a cowbell as there is an upward tone in the 3rd peal, although it could be where the bell is struck. Much like Dead Flowers, the bells put emphasis on what is another fantastic kiss off song. It drives me crazy. I was at the Replacements Tribute last weekend at the Turf Club and I missed it when the band didn’t have those bells.

Honorable mention goes to what I think is an electronic chime at the end of The Tourist from Radiohead. It’s literally the last thing you hear at the end of the song and the last thing you hear at the end of the entire album. I could write a whole post about the meaning of that chime.

Are there other small elements of a song that you always look for? Any good examples? Also drop your lists.

FMD — There at the creation

Is there a concert or recording session that you wish you were at to experience? Recording sessions would be cool to see how an iconic song or album was created and of course who wouldn’t want to see Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison or The Rolling Stones at The Excelsior Amusement Park?

A couple shows I’d love to have seen include The Beatles at the Cavern Club and maybe the Elvis Comeback show. Also when Dylan went electric at Newport to figure who booed.

Discuss and drop your lists.

FMD — Wilco Week

It's the start of Wilco week here in the Twin Cities as our buddies from Chicago come to the Palace Theater next week for three shows. Apparently it will be Wilco's last three live shows for a while as they are taking 2018 off. We'll see. Wilco gets derided by some (including me at times) as Dad Rock, and let's face it songs like Box Full of Letters, definitely fit that bill. But Wilco puts out some pretty creative music too, especially since Nels Cline joined the fold. Above is Spiders (Kidsmoke) which I would argue is some pretty challenging music for dads to be rocking out to. Apparently they've been playing it a bunch on this tour. I'll get to see it on Thursday. I can't wait.

Drop your lists, if you got 'em.

Wildcard Game: Twins at Yanks

Rough day Monday. Las Vegas. Tom Petty. All of which pushed the crisis in Puerto Rico, North Korea... off the list of latest things that outrage/sadden us.

That's why we need this. The improbable run. This plucky band of brothers who thrilled us, made us smile, made us care about baseball again. Even if it's for one day, we need this. And we need it to be against the Yankees. It just feels like it was meant to be -- win or lose.

Winning would be great, but it's not necessary. It's playoff baseball and the Twins are participants. And for one day, heck for three (plus) hours, all will be right in our little corner of the world. The problems won't go away and there is a lot of healing that needs to be done, but for one evening, we can watch, rejoice, thrill, even cheer at a bunch of grown men trying to hit, throw, and catch a little ball.