Monday, July 23, 2007

Random music bits

First Record Bought:

Bob Dylan, Greatest Hits. I was fifteen years old, traveling around England with my family, and paid twelve pounds for the cassette, which back then was far, far too much. But what the hell did I know? I played that so much everyone else grew mightily sick of it. Looking back, and knowing now what I do about most people's views on Dylan, I'm amazed they let me hear it so often that trip. Later, my brother would rear-end another car while stoned and listening to the Grateful Dead. Let this be a lesson to you. Somehow. Moving on.

First Concert:

Aside from little club shows, mostly by Auric? First real concert: Los Angeles, 1990 or perhaps 1991. Living Colour opens (remember "Cult Of Personality"?). Then Guns and Fucking Roses comes on. It's the day after Axl Rose walked offstage in an aggravated snit, saying too many of the band members had been "dancing with Mr. Brownstone" (doing heroin). This was widely covered in the press at the time, but no one seems to remember it now. Then the main act, the Rolling Stones, come on. They rock as much as can be expected. Eric Clapton walks out on stage for a guest solo.

Favorite Music Movie:

Tom Waits' concert film, Big Time. A must. Much better than the live album of the same name.

Favorite Music Book:

I don't really have one. When I was younger I enjoyed Robert Shelton's biography of Bob Dylan, No Direction Home, which really is quite good. The De Capo "best music writing" series is very good.

Favorite Songwriter:

Well, I'm going to have to say Bob Dylan, though there are many others I probably appreciate the skills of just as much, depending on mood.

Favorite Producer:

I suppose Steve Lillywhite. He produced Big Country's The Crossing, the Pogues' If I Should Fall From Grace With God, a lot of good U2 work, and some other stuff I like. But I don't think think much about the effect the producer has on a work. Of course, Steve Albini definitely leaves his mark, despite his ostensibly hands-off approach.

Favorite Record Label:

Rhino Records. When they reissue music, they do it better than anyone.

Favorite Music Magazine:

Q, out of England, is just the right mix of clever, insidiously cheeky, and thorough. A magazine about rock written by literate music geeks with a sense of humor. It costs about nine bucks here in the states. Paste magazine has a free CD with every issue, so that's good.

Favorite Bassist:

The guy on "You Can Call Me Al."

Favorite Album Cover:

I'm one of those people who don't pay very much attention to the covers. I'm pretty visually-minded, but to me, they're just wrapping, not art. That said, Jimi Hendrix' Axis: Bold As Love is a very good one. 'Course, Jimi had more than just the one great cover [this used to link to Electric Ladyland, but I was getting way too many image searches using terms that I wasn't comfortable with].

Favorite Teen Idol:

Until I was fifteen, I had no interest in music. When I was a younger adult, I was too cool for that kind of teenybopper shit. Now that I'm a middle-aged old duffer, I still have no interest in teen idols of any kind.

Artist Who Broke Your Heart:

I don't have expectations of musicians. I don't own them or their art, so I don't care if they change. That said, it's always unfortunate when previously innovative musicians find God and start releasing crappy, stale music.

Artist You Will Always Believe In:

Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. If they release something that doesn't interest me, 99.9% of the time it's because I'm not listening hard enough.

Singer Who Makes Your Skin Crawl:

Tom Waits, in a good way. Lots of singers make my skin crawl in a bad way, but I probably don't know their names. Well, Ashlee Simpson.

Singer Who Makes You Swoon:

I am an American male. I do not "swoon."

Favorite Sound:

The Beach Boys' harmonies backed by Brian Wilson's neurotically orchestrated wall of pop.

Album You Will Always Defend:

I don't defend artists or albums. If you find Bob Dylan unlistenable, that's your problem, not mine. And certainly not his. You're missing out, but I'm not going to argue about it.

Album You Own That No One Else Does:

I have a lot of obscure albums, and a couple that I'm certain no one else in America does except maybe the artists themselves. One less obscure gem that I'd most want other people to hear is Wilderness Of Mirrors, by Paul K.

Classic Album You Own but Don't Like:

I try and try to care about the Rolling Stones, but I just don't. I know they're great, but they're not my thing. Sorry, Beggars Banquet. (Actually, I'm not a big fan of Jimi Hendrix, either).

Artist You're Supposed to Like but Don't:

Since I love Bob Dylan so much I want to get a Surgically Implanted Uterus and bear his illicit love-children, it's presumed that I would also enjoy the folkish song stylings of his epigones Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and so forth. I do own an album or two by those guys, but outside of a few brilliant songs by the Boss, I find those Earnest Literate Men With Guitars a bit boring. Most of the time when I hear them I just think, "Bob Dylan put this better and sang it better and did it earlier."

Song You Can't Stand by an Artist You Like:

"Joey," by Bob Dylan. A long and very boring song about a gangster.

"Time of Your Life," by Green Day. Their "I Wanna be Your Boyfriend."

"Win," by David Bowie. And so forth.

Band That Should Break Up:

The Rolling Stones. Enough, skeletons! Cease thy otherworldly keening and return to thy graves!

Band That Should Re-form:

Don't they all, eventually?

Guilty Pleasure:

The Steve Miller Band. Shubada du ma ma, indeed.

Concert You Wish You'd Seen:

Bob Dylan's 1966 concert at Manchester's Free Trade Hall, where he debuted a lot of electric versions of his songs and was called "Judas" by stupid hippies.

Dream Collaboration:

Why on earth haven't Tom Waits and Nick Cave done anything together? They're both macabre, brilliant songwriters whose main instrument is piano.


ms. whatsit said...

The Stones don't do me either, which is generally ananthema among my crowd.

Wish I'd seen Stevie Ray Vaugh.

Shamefully, I'll admit that I swooned over Donny Osmond, but please don't hold that against me.

Chance said...

It's understandable. He's dreamy!