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  • Joe Brockmeier 8:16 am on January 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    5-Year-Old Boy Was Detained at the Airport Because of Trump's Muslim Ban. This is not normal, and this is not OK.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 6:44 pm on January 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Another Day in Dystopia 

    Many people seem surprised that not only is Trump doing the things he kept saying he'd do if he was in office, but how quickly he's doing them. I can't say that I'm in the least bit surprised, only disappointed that he's meeting such tepid resistance from Congress and the rest of the country. To be sure, plenty of people are protesting and complaining on social media, and I imagine the ACLU has never seen this many donations at once.

    But the administration has not only committed an obvious and flagrant illegal act in its travel ban, it is also attempting in some cases to ignore the courts – thus subverting checks and balances that our nation depends on. Whether you agree or disagree with the administration, when the executive branch decides it no longer answers to the legislative or judicial branch, we're in dangerous territory.

    There's the small matter of dropping the Joint Chiefs from the Security Council and appointing white supremacist Stephen Bannon on the council. If that doesn't scare the living daylights out of you, I don't know what will.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 9:35 am on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    A Finder's Guide to Facts on NPR. Good to keep in mind.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 6:44 pm on November 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 60s, , Arlo Guthrie, Folk, Talking Blues, Vietnam   

    "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" – Arlo Guthrie (Song of the Day) 

    r-3691533-1340551226-8819-jpegWith Thanksgiving day coming up, I had to put in a word for Arlo Guthrie's masterpiece, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree."

    For me, "Alice's Restaurant" is a Thanksgiving staple, but fun to listen to any time of year. Every year, the classic rock station (KSHE) in St. Louis would play this in its entirety – no small commitment, even for AOR stations at more than 18 minutes.

    The tune, repeated with minor variations for the entire song, is catchy enough. But it's the story and Guthrie's delivery that are so endearing. More than 35 years after I first listened to "Alice's Restaurant," the mere mention of 8×10 color glossy photographs (with circles and arrows on the back of each one) brings a smile to my face. If, by some unfortunate circumstance, you've never heard the tune before – set aside 20 minutes and give it a listen.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 10:04 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Industrial, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult   

    "Days of Swine and Roses" – My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (Song of the Day) 

    220px-kmfdmnaiveSorry for the break in programming over here, but work, life, and spending too much time obsessing over the election can put a crimp in your blogging.

    Speaking of the election, I've been seeking out more punk and industrial tunes in the last week or so. Angry and abrasive music does a lot to soothe my soul when times are dark. And these are dark times, my friends.

    I'm not a huge My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult fan, but "The Days of Swine and Roses" is one of my favorites. They knocked it out of the park on this single. The samples, the chorus, the creepy ass synths, and the sneering vocals all mesh together so nicely.

    Comments and suggestions for similar music very welcome!

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 2:48 pm on October 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    "You Are the Everything" – R.E.M. (Song of the Day) 

    Green album coverSuch a wonderful little song off the Green album. You might not have expected mandolin from R.E.M., but there it is. Peter Buck branching out to new instruments means new and interesting sounds for R.E.M.

    Like a lot of R.E.M. tunes, the lyrics are a bit more poignant when sung than on paper. "Drifting off to sleep with your teeth in your mouth" puzzled me as a teen. Where else would they be? Perhaps he's talking about dentures, but that seems weird. The overall effect is lovely, though.

    This is one of those quiet, unassuming songs that I tend to forget about until I listen to the album. Then it's like, "oh, right! This song is fantastic." Not that there are any bad songs on Green, mind you.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 10:04 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Song of the Day: "How Soon is Now?" (The Smiths) 

    45 cover for "How Soon is Now?"Not quite ready to let the posting streak die, so here's one from The Smiths that pairs nicely with "Not Too Soon" by Throwing Muses.

    Perhaps not my favorite Smiths song, but it's certainly in the top 10. Maybe even top 5. Johnny Marr's guitar bit may not be particularly complicated, but damn it's satisfying.

    Missed this song for the longest time because it's not on one of the studio albums.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 9:47 pm on October 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Belly, , , Throwing Muses, Tonya Donnelly   

    Song of the Day: "Not Too Soon" (Throwing Muses) 

    Not too soon album coverNot sure if it's the Tanya Donnelly's singing, the drums, or the incredible guitar on this piece that keep me coming back for more, but "Not Too Soon" is not to be missed.

    This was Donnelly's single off The Real Ramona, the last Throwing Muses album before Donnelly parted ways and formed Belly.

    This song has some real buzzsaw guitar going on, right at home with the rest of alt-rock college radio in 1991. But the drums and chorus take me back to the sound of 60s girl groups. Check it at about 1:30 in, there's definitely a throwback there. But the guitar sound is totally modern and just completely delicious.

    The Real Ramona is a fine album from start to finish, but "Not Too Soon" deserves special attention. If you want more like it, check out Donnelly's work with Belly. Not sure any of their songs quite match up with this one, but there's some solid stuff there.

    After tackling the 100 Albums of All Time project, I didn't want to lose the momentum of posting daily. But I'm not quite ready for another major project. Instead I thought I'd just look at posting some amazing songs that I think other folks would enjoy. Suggestions? Post 'em in the comments!

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 11:10 pm on October 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    My favorite 100 albums of all time: #1 ("Skylarking") 

    "Skylarking" album coverI'm not saying that Skylarking is the best album in the history of the universe, but I'm not not saying it either. Certainly it's the finest album XTC have produced.

    I know precisely when my love affair with XTC began, it was May 3rd, 1987 when MTV played the world premiere of "Dear God" on 120 Minutes. While not on the original pressings of Skylarking, Geffen slapped it on the US version and omitted "Mermaid Smiled" to make room.

    Once I finally got my hands on a copy of the cassette, I played it as much as possible – it's a miracle that the cassette lasted until I made the switch to CDs and was able to retire the poor thing.

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  • Joe Brockmeier 10:51 pm on October 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    My favorite 100 albums of all time: #2 ("Abbey Road") 

    album cover "Abbey Road"Abbey Road is more or less The Beatles' final album1, and it contains some of the group's strongest work – especially George Harrison, who finally gets his day in the sun.

    I'm not sure when I got my first copy of Abbey Road. Might have been high school, or it might have been the first release of The Beatles' catalog on CD. This was back in the dark, pre-Internet, ages when knowing exactly what the "official" Beatles releases were was non-trivial.

    The vast majority of Abbey Road was in heavy rotation on the local classic rock stations all through my formative years, of course, but it's best appreciated in its entirety.

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