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|Moving a time to dive into old and new favorites
Early this summer, I packed up my CDs and records early, not realizing what I had done to my car listening
schedule. Sure, I had my MP3 player for casual use, but in my car, I was committed to whatever I had happened
to leave in there.
If I remember correctly, The Buzzcocks' Singles Going Steady, Beck's Guero and Jet’s Get Born were in the mix.
But the real winner was Queens of the Stone Age's Songs For The Deaf. I had already been buzzing over
Lullabies to Paralyze for a while at that point, but given the extra week to listen to it incessantly worked wonders
for how I remembered it.I had always thought pretty highly of it — "Song For The Dead" was already one of my all-
time favorite tunes — but the time it spent in my car's player was a near-revelation. "God Is In The Radio," "Song
For The Deaf" and "Hangin' Tree" went from being just songs I dug into that same all-time favorite neighborhood.
This time, I was at least aware of the fact that whatever was in my car was stuck in rotation for the foreseeable
future. Still, I'm a lazy creature, awaking between 11 a.m. and noon on average, and I never made an effort to
actually pick out what I wanted.
But, alas, it's worked out just fine.
I'm in the process of moving for the second time in six months. While
that's not always a blast — there's only so much fun in
packing/unpacking boxes — it's lead to an interesting discovery on
both occasions. And both times, the results have been somewhat
|The Stones were something else in the early 70s
Some new releases have, by default, found a home in
my stereo. Supergrass' Road to Rouen and Ryan
Adams & the Cardinals' Jacksonville City Nights have
been a couple of my favorites so far, with Adams
amazing me again — which, for him, is just about par for
In spite of how angry their ticket prices have made me, I
have been on something of a Rolling Stones kick for
about a month. It's not the new album that got me going,
though. A slew of bootlegs, some new, some old, from
the era of 1969-1975 have had me revved up.
Mainly the Mick Taylor era (minus one 1975 show with
Ronnie Wood in Los Angeles), this era was the Stones
at the top of their game. The setlists weren't totally
unpredictable, a la the Grateful Dead, but everything just
sounds monster. Every version of "Midnight Rambler"
and "Jumping Jack Flash" is just a little more killer than
the last. It's a testament to how good they could probably
still sound if they wanted to.
The disc that's found a home in my CD wallet, however, is the official Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! Recorded live at
Madison Square Garden in 1969, it works as something of a "Stones live" platter. Their 69 tour, infamously
ending with the Altamont fiasco, was one of their strongest musically, and it's here where you see where all the
fuss started about the Stones.
The big winner, though, has been Bob Dylan with Love and Theft. I seem to be in the minority among my age
bracket, but I love the older, creaky-sounding Dylan, the cowboy-like character who will warble through a
mouthful of lyrics in two beats.
|Tip your cap, Bob, because you're still on top.
The simple, old-timey, rolling nature of the record
is what really drew me to it initially. It sounded
like it was from another planet, unlike any Dylan
record before it, really. There were elements of
40s lounge jazz and Delta blues all wrapped up
in a ragged cloak.
For whatever reason, this disc has hit me hard in
the last few weeks, likely spurred by my affinity
for the recently-released No Direction Home
package. It’s music that fits when it’s raining (it’s
done that a lot lately), when it’s cold, when it’s
unseasonably warm, when traffic is tight, and
when it’s a clear night with no one on the road.
Songs like “High Water” and “Sugar Baby” are
perfect for driving alone — I’ve noticed that I tend
to listen to this album exclusively alone. That’s
not just for me, though, since again, I do seem to be the only one of my friends who really likes this side of Dylan.
So, as I take another load of boxes to my new digs, I’ll have plenty of discs to keep me company. But with any
luck, I’ll only need about three or four of them.