Friday 14 (4/18/14)

Quick note: last Friday, as a result of working in three WordPress blogs simultaneously (don’t try this at home, kids), I accidentally published my Friday list before I had a chance to edit the thing, and then I had to delete the entire post because even in draft mode it was accessible through the Twitter feed (and much of what I had started to crank out was jibberish). So this week’s post captures what I can recall of that list (which is just as well, as I hardly listened to or watched or read anything this week).

1. Steely Dan iTunes playlist – All the albums, basically, from Can’t Buy a Thrill through (and including) Gaucho. Best and worst music ever to be unemployed to. (My SD best-of has a fair bit of overlap with Alfred Soto’s.)
2. Broken Social Scene, Bee Hives
3. Hey Ocean! “Big Blue Wave – What hath Metric wrought. And my daughter digs it, too.
4. Chromeo, “Jealous”
5. Bob Dylan, “Tangled up in Blue” – Until you’ve seen a one-year-old shake his butt to this, it’s safe to say you’ve never really heard it.
6. David Newfeld, “Signatures of Existence” – From his 1992 CD, Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Message.

7. The Peter Yarrow Songbook: Sleepytime Songs – Best children’s album ever. As pretty as Nebraska, minus all the stuff about killing people.


8. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
9. Go-Go’s, Greatest Hits
10. Belinda Carlisle, “Heaven is a Place on Earth”
11. “Mad Men” Season 7 opener – “I’m a Man” early on suggested a new energy, but it promptly fell back into turgid. Not that I find it uncompellingly turgid.
12. In Good Company, dir. Paul Weitz, w/Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johnsson, et al.
13. Steve Roach, Structures From Silence (reissue, via Ned Raggett’s review in Wondering Sound)
14. Camille Paglia, Break, Blow, Burn – How to read. Really read.


6 thoughts on “Friday 14 (4/18/14)

  1. On Steely Dan — I can’t tell you how much joy the song “Kings” from Can’t Buy a Thrill gives me whenever I listen.
    That whole album is filled with catchy AM pop they didn’t do much of again.

  2. Well, “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number” and “Peg” (bone fide smash hits) come to mind, as do a bunch of others that sound poppy enough (to me) to have been hits. But yeah, no argument on “Kings.”

  3. I’d meant to comment on this post at the time, Scott, but forgot about it until this morning, when as luck would have it, Teresa and I were doing our weekly grocery shopping at Kroger’s, and their ambient soundtrack was an ’80s pop mix, including Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” — as soon as I heard that exuberant tune once more, I saw the glowing globes from the video, and recalled that you’d endorsed the song in this post! Likewise — the number was a hit in 1987, when Creem was about to go under for good, and I figured I could dig this keylime-flavored slice of MOR all I wanted, without worrying about Christgovian Consensus and all that jazz. Now that the post-rockcritical millennium is fully upon us, I embrace the song even more, just watched the vid on YouTube, with my eyes beaming like those innerlit globes. Wikipedia sez the video was directed by Diane Keaton(!) — did not know that before. Probably gave Woody and his unfortunate fixation on Dixieland a whole new round of aesthetic angst at the time.

  4. True story. The only piece I ever submitted to the Voice was a long review of Carlisle’s Runaway Horses from ‘89. Joe Levy, kindly, told me I ought to write for them. I knew I was supposed to call ‘em up, can’t remember who the editor was at the time, and shake somebody’s dick, sell ‘em on the assignment, but I could never muster up the nerve. So I sent them a gushing record review of Runaway Horses, which today seems a perverse gesture at best. I’d just written ab Soundgarden, whose 1st EP, Screaming Life, I loved, for Spin, my highest-profile circulation, but felt terribly ambivalent ab them b/f I’d even finished the review. I can’t even remember which album—the SST one, I think—I was ostensibly supposed to be writing ab. At any rate, after that, Runaway Horses felt like a must. No ambivalence there. Now I haven’t played it in eons but what I still remember are galloping horses, thunder and rain, a soap operatic pop style somewhere between Jim Steinman/Meatloaf and country music, and choral hooks as big as a blue sky. Of course, I never heard a word back. Way outside the X-gauvian consensus!

  5. And, oh yeah, Can’t Buy A Thrill to Katy Lied, one of the great four-album runs in pop history, no?

  6. It feels like I’m hearing “Heaven” (and thus, heaven) on the local “retro” station all the time these days. I’ve always of course known it, and have always liked it, but it’s genuinely hit me all over again in a new way, and I’m amazed how great it sounds. (You’ve intrigued me about the album, Jack, though I’m surprised the Voice didn’t buy the pitch, even if Christgau was fairly pissy towards it:

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