Wednesday, April 10, 2019

What I Heard :March 2019

The soundtrack of my life?
March was a big month, music-wise. It typically is, because

A. My birthday is in March, and people in my life know they can rarely go wrong with music or books

B. My birthday is in March, so I tend to treat myself

C. Kim and I try and squeeze in some road trips in March, and all roads tend to lead to record stores eventually

D. Baby, it's cold outside, and so I'm probably sitting in front of the fire browsing on eBay--for music and books.

So, March's haul starts with the record pictured above

1. Various Artists, Daniel Waters 50 Years and Still Undead
This record is one of the most thoughtful, unique, and awesome gifts I've ever received. A good friend of mine had this bespoke record created by sifting through interviews I've given over the years where I've mentioned music I listened to for inspiration and/or while writing and having the songs burned onto wax. Apparently you buy the tunes off a digital platform like iTunes and tell the company what order to put them in and go and create your cover art, which in this case features ghostly black, white, and red images of the beautiful Hyperion-Disney editions of my first two novels. Clearly, there was some expert curation behind the creation of the album, as the A side is the "horrorpunk" side and the B side is the "metal" side. The gift kept giving, too, because the version of Blitzkid's "Pretty in a Casket" was different than the one currently in my collection, and such things are important to me.

I have a large vinyl collection. And a new favorite record.

As though that wouldn't be a thoughtful enough gift, my friend also researched albums that hit Billboard's #1 spot the year I was born, so I also received

2. Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash at San Quentin
3. Original Broadway Cast, Hair Soundtrack
4. Blind Faith, Blind Faith
5. Blood, Sweat and Tears, Blood, Sweat and Tears
6. Supremes & Temptations, The Original Soundtrack from TCB
7. Tommy Roe, Tommy Roe's Greatest Hits

His birthday is also in March; we tend to go overboard. Any guesses as to which of 2-7 is my favorite?

Then there were a couple iTunes purchases:

8. Buckcherry, Warpaint 
Buckcherry is an artist I buy new releases from on release day. I love Buckcherry and have probably seen them live more than any other band in the last decade or so
9. Cheap Trick, The Epic Archive Vol. 3
Cheap Trick is another artist I'll buy on release day, and I bought this after seeing them in concert a few weeks prior. Many, many years ago I was on some promotional live internet chat with Rick Neilson and Robin Zander, and I asked if the band was ever going to compile all of the songs they had on soundtracks--"Mighty Wings" from Top Gun, "Up the Creek" from that stellar movie, etc. I'd tracked most of them down (many were vinyl only for a long time) but there were a few that proved elusive. Rick answered me, "Yeah, someday we should do that." Someday has come, and I finally have their cover of "Money (That's What I Want) from the Caddyshack II Soundtrack.
One of my favorite bands, the only one I have seen in four different decades, surprisingly.
10. Kate Bush, Never For Ever I don't know how I lived this long without having this one; I've got all her others and some weird non-catalogue stuff besides. "Delius (Song of Summer)" is now one of my favorite songs of hers.
11. Various Artists,  Ultra Lounge:Organs in Orbit 
I loved the Ultra Lounge series even before I joined AARP (that's a joke, so, I say it's a joke!). I've got fourteen of them and will add one whenever the mood strikes. This one isn't one of my favorites--I'm partial to Mondo Exotica and Rhapsodesia, but the quest for new sounds continues.
Now playing in my space-age married guy pad

Then my eMusic purchases:
12. The Adverts, Cast of Thousands
13. The Adverts, Crossing the Red Sea
14. Coleman Hawkins, The Acetate Masters Collection
15. The Sun Ra Arkestra Under the Direction of Marshal Allen, Live at Babylon
These were all great, but I worry that eMusic doesn't seem to be pulling new labels like they used to. Almost everything in my "Save For Later" list disappeared by the time I went to make my selections.

Then a couple record store purchases:
16. Bill Callahan, Live at Third Man Records
No clue how I missed this when it came out in November. Add Mr. Callahan to the list of artists I (try to) buy on release day. I've probably listened to Dream River and Apocalypse a couple times a month since I discovered them a few years ago.
17. Jimmy Page & Black Crowes, Live at the Greek

And then there's this:

18. Sin Theta, Sin Theta EP
The band sent me this; I wrote heavy metal album reviews for Metal Express Radio for almost two years, leaving at the end of 2018. Sin Theta made my top eleven metal albums of the year list (find it on MER HERE with a one song demo, "No Allegiance", that was how much I loved that song and the promise I saw in this new band. So when they sent me their debut five song EP, I came out of retirement to write a review which you can find on MER HERE, and if you hop around the site you can find my other reviews--nearly a hundred of them! I love, love, love, this band--the music is like a blend of Shadow's Fall and Fates Warning and is also completely it's own thing. You can buy the EP directly from the band on the Facebook Page BUY SIN THETA HERE

You can also buy my books HERE, and if you like my record reviews or are intrigued by my listening tastes, you might especially like AURAL HISTORY, my novel where I distilled much of my love for music (and ghosts). Only $4.99 in the kindle store!
Actual records from my collection
 Quite a haul for March...and Record Store Day is only three days away!!!

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