Monday, January 15, 2018

"Linger," The Cranberries

Every now and then, a song is released that is so perfect that it feels like a miracle.  The Cranberries' "Linger" is such a song.  It's been a while since I listened to the car radio on a regular basis, but back in the Nineties, this was a song that I always looked forward to hearing.  A song that, for the little more than four minutes of its playing time, would make all right with the world.  I never bought the album, so

Last fall, I stopped at a garage sale, and found the album buried in a big box of old CDs.  I bought it for this one song, and have yet to listen to any of the others.  Sometimes, the space in the CD cabinet is worth spending for one song.

Today came the news that lead singer Dolores O'Riordan has died, much too young at the age of 46.  But her voice will live on forever, with this song (and many others).


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Songs of 2017: "I Don't Care Anymore," Rodney Crowell

This is not a young man's song, and Rodney Crowell hasn't been a young man for a while now.  You look at him in this video, and "grizzled veteran" is the first thing that comes to mind.  Not unlike Sam Elliott in the film "Hero," Crowell is an artist who probably has a list of things that he would do differently if given the chance, but on the other hand, so what? 

"I Don't Care Anymore," Rodney Crowell.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Songs of 2017: "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness," The National

The National is another band that I came to enjoy rather late, and even now I've yet to discover a couple of their older albums that many longtime fans consider their best.

"Trouble Will Find Me" was probably my favorite album of 2013, and while 2017's "Sleep Well Beast" won't reach quite that level, it was a more than worthy successor.  "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness" is a good example of what the band does best, and rather than try to explain what that means, I'd suggest you have a watch and a listen.

Dick Enberg and Keith Jackson: R.I.P.

In the span of less than a month, we've lost two of the all-time legends in sports broadcasting: Dick Enberg and Keith Jackson.

Fun Fact: from 1980 through 2006, Dick Enberg and Keith Jackson called 24 of the 27 Rose Bowls (Brent Musberger helmed the other three).  That alone would probably be enough to cement their legacy in sports broadcasting, but there was oh so much more for each broadcaster.  For Enberg, the resume included the Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Super Bowl, Summer and Winter Olympics, NFL, NBA, Wimbledon, the French Open, the U.S. Open (golf and tennis), PGA Golf, NCAA basketball, and Major League Baseball.  Meanwhile, Jackson's resume included the Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, NCAA regular season football, NBA, Major League Baseball (including the World Series), the NFL (the very first play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football, in 1970), Winter and Summer Olympics, and NCAA basketball.

For all their brilliant work in a variety of settings, Enberg is probably best remembered for NCAA basketball, with his signature moment being the 1979 NCAA Championship Game between Michigan St. and Indiana St.- one of the most famous NCAA games ever, and the game which kick-started the legendary rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.  And without question, Jackson will be remembered best for his work on college football.  It is not a stretch to say that, for more than three decades, Keith Jackson WAS the voice of college football.  Appropriately, he closed his career with one of the most famous college football games ever, the 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and USC.

For any sports fan who grew up in the Sixties, Seventies, or Eighties, Dick Enberg and Keith Jackson will always hold a special place.  They were both magnificent at their jobs, and from all accounts great people to work with.  Farewell to both.

"Oh My!"

"Whoa Nellie!"

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Songs of 2017: King Kendrick

Son #2 asked me yesterday when the "Songs of 2017" series would get around to Kendrick Lamar, and now is as good a time as any.  Part of the problem was deciding which song to pick - there are so many classics on "Damn" that it's impossible to narrow it down to one.  The album may not have quite the epic scope of "To Pimp a Butterfly," but it's a pop masterpiece, and will almost certainly be my "go to" album for Kendrick for a long time.

Like I said narrowing it down to one was impossible, so here are two songs that demonstrate the scope and range of the album and the artist.  And yes, the standard advisory, for both lyrical and visual content, applies.  If you think there might be something here that you're not comfortable with, you should probably not watch.


"Love" (feat. Zacari):

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Songs of 2017: "The Gold," Manchester Orchestra

I like to think that I'm up-to-date on most of the new bands and music of the day, but every now and then one manages to slip through the cracks.  So even though they've been around since 2004 I'd never heard (or even heard of) Manchester Orchestra, a band I would not have guessed was from Atlanta, Georgia.  Their page on Wikipedia describes them as "an American Indie Rock band," which basically demonstrates the meaningless of that word as a descriptor.

Last summer, someone that I follow on Twitter was talking about how good their new album was, so I figured what the heck, I'd check it out.  And while not all of it has truly sunk in for me, there's no denying that this is one of the best songs of the year.

"The Gold," Manchester Orchestra

Monday, January 01, 2018

Songs of 2017 - Two from Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

Task #1: Happy New Year!  Even though we're into a new year, we're still in the midst of wrapping up the "Songs of 2017" series, with a few entries yet to come.

Task #2: A hearty thank you to Larry Aydlette, who tipped me off to "Way Out West," the record on which tonight's two songs appear.  It's one of the year's best, and manages in the span of 45 or so minutes to evoke everyone from Tom Petty to Marty Robbins to The Grateful Dead.  Well worth your time and listen.

First up, "Old Mexico":

To these ears, it sounds like the follow up to "El Paso" that Marty Robbins never got around to recording.

And second, "Time Don't Wait," a flat-out rocker that would have sounded just fine being played by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers:

"Old Mexico" and "Time Don't Wait," Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives.