Thursday, December 20, 2012
(Y2K Top Ten Lists)
Professor of Millennium Musicology
OK, now that the term "Y2K" has been permanently seared upon everyone's retinas, the time has come to answer the question: what the hell is Y2K, anyway?
History lesson: In the nascent computing era of the 1950s, storage and memory were prohibitively expensive, so programmers adopted a convention using a two-digit field for years, with the programs automatically inserting the "19." Evidently, they figured we'd be using some Star Trek type computers by now, 'cause nobody had a problem with that then. The big problem in the here and now is that literally billions of microchips embedded in everything from the nation's powergrids to Mom's microwave won't be able to distinguish between 1900 and 2000. Now, if you have to eat a cold Pop Tart because your toaster has PMS (that's Post-Millennium Syndrome, y'all), that's one thing; if Georgia Power's computer systems crash, then you might have to plan your day a little differently.
According to Family PC magazine, $600 billion will be spent by year-end to fix or replace computer systems, and even that won't guarantee 100% compliance and nobody really knows which systems will keep on truckin' and which ones will go flatline.
Let's check in with the Federal Government, shall we? As always, it's the old "what I say" vs. "what I do" affliction. On the one hand, they say there could be scattered disruptions, no worse than a severe snowstorm or hurricane. (Never mind the fact that those are random occurrences, this is something we've known about for a while now...) On the other hand, legislators have passed bills limiting Y2K liability from lawsuits, as well as creating a Y2K "bunker," a government agency which ominously, will "be the framework for future disasters."
Amazing as it may seem, our Federal Government has not acknowledged the Y2KT10 problem. After consulting with the Conspiracy Division of Playgrounds Magazine, it has been determined that this is a deliberate cover-up in order to avoid widespread panic (meaning rioting in the streets, not the band) and to discourage the rampant stockpiling of music.
Now without furthur adieu (a French word meaning, literally, "more crap"), let's bring on this month's selections. First up, the poet laudanum of Shadowville, Will Dockery:
Gadzooks! Only ten? OK, lessee...
1)Bob Dylan/Empire Burlesque- overlooked masterpiece from 1985.
2)John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band- yow! the finest, working class hero,
3)Lou Reed/Berlin- this'll rip your soul out, the most
depressing/uplifting record ever made.
4)Patti Smith Group/Horses- she was America's greatest poet at one
5)Rolling Stones/Exile on Main Street- gotta have this one.
6)Liz Phair/Exile In Guyville- this little lady gives me the "schwing."
7)Hole/Live Through This- ditto.
8)Nirvana/Unplugged in New York- the cry of the ages.
9)Pavement/Slanted & Enchanted- and it is.
10)Bob Nuewirth/99 Monkeys- if you don't have this, I'll tape you a
(I'll clone myself to keep 10 or 20 more such as... Henry Conley, Uncle
Grumpy, Digital Cricket, Blonde on Blonde, Desire, Smashing
Pumpkins, REM Murmur, Patti's Radio Ethiopia, The Velvets, Eno,
Cale, Nico, Beatles Rubber Soul, Henry Parker, The Clash London
Calling, Woody Guthrie, Billie Holliday, Miles Davis...ahh, this is
impossible, just gimmie the green Kool-Aid...) Will
(Whatever you say, Will. Would you like that in a commemorative Y2K souvenir cup? - Curtis.)
Next is Brian Fowler, who says "I would like to plug my record, I should have it ready by October/November. It's called San Francisco Blue and features Bob Harvey, the original bassist of Jefferson Airplane, Robert and Rebecca Richardson and your own Mr. Mike Childree, I (Brian Fowler), will be on mandolins and gtrs."
1. West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Child's Guide to Good and Evil. 1968 Psychedelic album, well written and cohesive. Michael Lloyd went on to
become one of LA's top producers with the platinum album Footloose. This gem
defined the era, although very rare and contained no big hits, this is the
holy grail for collectors. Luckily, I have it.
2. Jethro Tull Roots to Branches This is their last studio album. Although rock radio (at least here in Columbus) does not play anything from this album, It contains some of the best gtr work imaginable and the tracks Roots to Branches and Dangerous Veils are some of the best rock ever recorded.
3. Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967 This album was recorded in Abbey Road studio at the same time Sgt. Pepper was being recorded. I hear a little Beatles in this and vice-versa. The scoop is Barrett would trip w/ Lennon and listen to each other's playbacks. A must in your collection.
4. David Grisman Mondo Mando One of the hottest jazz-grass albums made w/ Tony Rice and Mark O'Connor. It makes me want to nail my mandolin case shut.
5. Gong Angels Egg. David Allen's songwriting and gtr work shone on this jazz-rock classic.
6. It's a Beautiful Day (I saw another Y2KT10 w/ this album mentioned. This was a classic and the violin just soared in this. I love this album.
7. Hawkwind In Search of Space This is my "drive fast" album, crunching gtrs,
Lemmy's pounding bass, the cuts Master of the Universe and Shouldn't Do That are classics. I went to NY last year to see these folks and they are worth the
ride. They have a wild light show. Good fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8. Jefferson Airplane Bark Lawman, Wild Turkey, Pretty as You Feel, although the band was falling apart, they got it together enough to do this classic.
9. Nektar- Remember the Future. One of the best progressive albums ever made. I have 3 LPs of this one. The sleeve art is pretty imaginative.
10. New Grass Revival-Barren County. I love this record. It is pre-Bela Fleck and some of the best albums ever made of acoustic music.
You readers are probably thinking this dude has some pretty weird CDs. Maybe so but, there is a lot out there and music is diverse...
(No, Brian, Playgrounds readers are probably wondering what " (insert something from it pays to enhance your word power) " means. -Curtis.)
NME, England's preeminent music magazine has compiled a list of the top 100 rock'n'roll albums "since 4/4 time began," but they did it back in October 1993, "the last time we got around to doing it." The list is predictably Anglo-heavy, yet The Beach Boys snag number one, followed by Marvin Gaye (four), The Velvet Underground (six), and Public Enemy (nine). You can find the whole list at http://www.nme.com/reviews/top100.html, but here's the top ten:
1 Pet Sounds THE BEACH BOYS (Capitol, 1966)
2 Revolver THE BEATLES (Parlophone, 1966)
3 Never Mind the Bollocks THE SEX PISTOLS (Virgin, 1977)
4 What's Going On MARVIN GAYE (Tamla Motown, 1971)
5 The Stone Roses THE STONE ROSES (Silvertone, 1989)
6 The Velvet Underground & Nico THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (Verve, 1967)
7 London Calling THE CLASH (CBS, 1979)
8 The Beatles THE BEATLES (Apple, 1968)
9 It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back PUBLIC ENEMY (Def Jam, 1988)
10 The Queen Is Dead THE SMITHS (Rough Trade, 1986)
So, four months left before the clocks all roll over to two-triple-ought...till next month, I'll leave y'all with a bumper sticker..."Time is the best teacher; Unfortunately it kills all its students!" Y'all study on your favorite musical selections, and send your top ten lists to:
Columbus GA 31908
Y2KT10 (Y2K TOP TEN LISTS)
by: Curtis Lynch
Professor of Millennium Musicology
In case you ain’t heard, a heretofore unknown computer “bug” will wipe out all recorded music at the stroke of midnight, December 31, 1999. Fortunately, the crack staff of scientists at Playgrounds Magazine have unearthed a method of saving ten, and only ten, pieces of music. The way you do this is to send your selections to the address found at the end of this article. Choose wisely, choose carefully, because we all will have to live with your selections.
PERUSING THE PERIODICALS:
The year 2000 is still six months away, but people with much more forethought than I are already making arrangements for the dawn of the new millennium. (hey, my idea of advance planning is ordering pizza from Papa John’s.) Never mind that the 21st century doesn’t actually start until 1/1/2001; facts don’t stand a chance in the face of rampant capitalism. To prove my point, turn of the century soirees are filling up in a hurry. I hear you can’t get a room within an overnight hike of Disneyworld, and Rolling Stone magazine reports Barbara Streisand’s Vegas concert packages are going for $1 million per. Other musical blowouts include The Eagles (masters of the overpriced concert ticket), who are teaming up with fellow 70s California mellow-rockers Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt to command $50-$1000 a throw, Spingsteen in New Jersey, Bowie, Phish, a Metallica/Ted Nugent Detroit double bill, and Michael Jackson, who will take advantage of the International Date Line (not to mention fans) by actually playing two New Years Eve shows. I don’t know where I’m going to be December 31st, but you can bet that if our entire civilization fails when that big ball falls, a Michael Jackson concert will not be the safest place to be.
Oh, and PC Computing magazine reminds us that we’ve already missing the conception date for a 01/01/00 baby. Better luck next century, y’all.
Next month, we’ll discuss exotic millennium travel destinations for those of us with more dollars than sense, but let’s move on the July’s soundtrack choices for the 21st century:
OK, your turn: Send your lists, such as they are, to :
Columbus Ga 31908
(Y2K Top Ten)
Greetings class, and welcome to this month’s dissertation on Millennium Musicology. We are honored to have as guest lecturer singer /songwriter/guitarist /poet and all-around good guy, Frank Saunders of Digital Cricket. (Warning! Unabashed plug follows: Digital Cricket’s CD Perilous Times can be found in Columbus at Riff’s, The Loft, Toad’s Books and the Columbus Museum and is available in Auburn at Wildman Steve’s, Passaround Sound, and Bigshot Records. Catch ‘em live at Rae’s Pub 7/23, Rock A Moly Cafe 7/30 and 8/28.) Let’s go over the ground rules first: A previously unknown Y2K computer “bug” will erase nearly all recorded forms of music at the stroke of midnight, December 31, 1999. Fortunately, the crack staff of scientists at Playgrounds Magazine have discovered a method of saving exactly ten pieces of music. You are charged with the duty of preserving our musical legacy for the 21st Century...and I promise, if you send me a list with KC & the Sunshine Band, Milli Vanilli, or the Spice Girls on it, I will trash every shred of music that has a BPM faster than my resting heart rate! Regardless, send your lists to the address below...
And now, please welcome Frank Saunders to the Millennium podium...
And finally...the list we all waited for...
Well class, this has been a highly educational and informative session, especially since I had to do little but enjoy it...the most interesting thing I’ve found about this exercise of choosing only ten CDs is that choosing only ten CDs is virtually impossible...people really perk up when discussing what they would include...if nothing else, I’ve stimulated some lively conversations! Mucho nachos to Frank Saunders for his contributions this month, and those of Terry, Vince and Steve.
Ahem...everyone please rise...at this time, It gives me great pleasure to bestow upon Frank the title of Associate Professor of Millennium Musicology, Performing Artist Category. Good luck in the 21st Century!
Next month, Bill Clinton’s Top Ten, and maybe yours, if you’ll get off your butt and send your lists to:
Columbus, GA 31908
Director of Millennium Musicology
Greetings class, and welcome to this month’s lecture on Millennium Musicology. As self-appointed head of this department, I have noticed a widespread stirring of excitement and trembling anticipation over the current musical crisis we find ourselves in, and much discussion as to the relative merits of certain genres has resulted, so let’s go over the rules briefly: A previously unknown Y2K “bug” will eradicate, erase, and exterminate all forms of recorded music precisely on 01/01/00!!! Using modern techniques (mostly involving Juicy Fruit gum and Pixy Stix), we are able to save exactly 10 CDs. Tim Chitwood, ever the investigative reporter, tried to pin us down to specific genres, singles vs. albums, etc...but we’ll have none of that, Tim! You pick ‘em: country, jazz, Albanian polka music, it’s up to you! Pick ten songs, 10 CDs, 10 Andean prayer chants, I don’t care, the fate of 21st century music is in your hands.
Last month’s choices were outstanding, and so are the selections this month: Jane & Sonny from Radar Rose wade into the fray, and Jane’s reasoning for eliminating classical music from consideration is especially on target. But don’t let that influence you, send your own Y2K top ten lists in!
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
…when ninety-nine and a half won’t do.
Live From Alabama
This is what a live record should be. This is a definitive look at a band at the top of their game. A moment in 4/4 time that combines where they are with where they came from, along with a hint as to where they’re going. Isbell writes potent songs that mix rock, country and soulful blues and here, he blends songs from his time with the Drive-By Truckers, more recent work, and two covers (Muscle Shoals soul singer Candi Staton’s Love On a String and a powerful take on Neil Young’s Like A Hurricane).
Picks: Decoration Day, Alabama Pines.
We’re Usually A Lot Better Than This
The title’s an inside joke, an offhand comment. But no one could be better than Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien, two of the most respected and accomplished multi-instrumentalists in Nashville, sitting down in a live environment to play acoustic music together. The thirteen tracks, culled from two benefits in 2005 and 2006, feature originals and covers by Gordon Lightfoot, Hank Williams, Keith Whitley and Townes Van Zandt, and are filled with jaw-dropping, virtuoso picking and airtight harmonies. And I thought they couldn’t be any better than 2000s Real Time.
Picks: Scott’s Long Time Gone and Van Zandt’s White Freightliner Blues.