Music, cats, and other things that make life worthwhile

Nicky Skopelitis & Raoul Björkenheim: Revelator

November 12, 2019 — Joe Brockmeier

Bill Laswell has been a busy fellow lately, pushing out a lot of stuff on his label (I guess?) to Bandcamp that's been out for years or even decades but no longer in print. I'm really enjoying Revelator, a collaboration with Nicky Skopelitis and Raoul Björkenheim. I'd never heard of Raoul before, but I've picked up a couple of things by Skopelitis over the years and really enjoy his work.

This one is from 1998, but sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. Some really lovely guitar work on this one, it flows really nicely. If you enjoy instrumental multi-genre jams, I would recommend checking this one out. It works as background music, but also rewards close listening.

Tags: skopelitis, music, instrumental

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The Checkmates: Do the Walk

November 09, 2019 — Joe Brockmeier

Once upon a time I thought I knew a lot about "oldies" music, but the more I delve into things the more I find that I've just barely scraped the surface. The good news about that is that there's just so much good stuff out there to be discovered, like this cut by The Checkmates, Ltd.

Clocks in at just a bit more than two minutes, give it a listen or two and you'll find yourself humming it later in the day. Released in 1966 on Capitol Records, B-side "Glad for You" which has a great chorus but sounds a bit underdeveloped.

Tags: music, obscure-music, vintage, soul

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Jah Wobble meets The Edge

November 09, 2019 — Joe Brockmeier

A few days ago I was reading through Jah Wobble's discography and noticed something I hadn't spotted before, an EP with Holger Czukay and U2's The Edge. This dates back to 1983, and I'm sort of surprised it didn't get more exposure given U2's popularity in the 80s.

On further inspection, it looks like one cut ("Hold on to Your Dreams," track 2 on the EP) made it to Jah Wobble's Redux: Anthology 1978-2015 but it's otherwise slipped into obscurity.

Listening to the tracks I found on YouTube, it's not bad but I'd never have spotted The Edge's playing on this one. I guess you can sort of detect The Edge's fingerprints on "Hold on to Your Dreams" late into the track, but it's more like he's trying to channel Nile Rogers. Or vice-versa. Vocals contributed by Marcella Allen, whom I've never heard of and Wikipedia and Google are of little help.

Apparently somebody in the props department was a fan, or thought that this is what a teen would like, because a poster pops up in the background of Ferris Bueller's bedroom.

Unless you're really, really into Wobble, The Edge, or Czukay this isn't really a must-have. It's not bad, but I doubt it's going to find its way into heavy rotation for me. But it's worth a few spins, and might grow on you.

Tags: music, obscure-music

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Top 100 Albums (2016 Edition)

August 10, 2019 — Joe Brockmeier

In 2016 I decided I need a kick in the pants to do some more writing and blogging. So I decided to start by writing about my (at the time) favorite 100 albums. Are these the objectively best albums ever? No. No they are not. Well, some of them are. But these are the albums that were, at the time, my favorites out of thousands of albums I own and listen to.

If I were making the list today, it'd be different. I'd have Khruangbin on there, for sure. Leonard Cohen's final album, Kamasi Washington's The Epic. Aimee Mann's Mental Illness might have displaced one of her other albums. One of these days I might revisit the list and re-rank them, include new ones, bump a few off the list. My tastes have evolved in the past few years to include a lot more jazz/instrumental music, and I find myself listening to classic rock a little less.


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