The Joup Friday Album: Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club was recorded in 1963 and released in 1985 by R.C.A. Records, who had kept it in a vault for over twenty years. This album took twenty-two years to be released! I’m sure that probably broke a Guinness book world record of some sort. Think about it – how many records went from the actual recording and production to a twenty-two year release date? Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club is a prime contender for that category. Sam Cooke’s name alone circa 1963 sold a ton of records, but Live at the Harlem Square Club was shelved and never released at the height of Cooke’s fame. Why?

Endless Loop: The Sound of Silence

simongarfunkelHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel

Admission #1: There is something about Paul Simon that just annoys the crap out of me.

Admission #2: Although it seems to be universally revered, I hate Simon’s solo album Graceland with every single fiber of my being.

Endless Loop: Fitta Happier

quakersHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Fitta Happier” by Quakers

The Joup Friday Album: The Parasites of The Western World

parasitesA common descriptor that’s often used for music that’s different, or strange, or complex, or lost and forgotten is that it’s ahead of its time, artists creating songs that are so far in front of the game that it’s like they shouldn’t even exist just yet.  And that’s a nice sentiment I suppose.  There’s certainly a touch of endearment in those words, an implication that the art was just so visionary and amazing, that the world simply wasn’t ready for it yet.  But the other implication, and the one that is much more easily measurable, is that it just didn’t sell.  It didn’t make the artists that created it any money, which in turn usually led to shorter careers, smaller outputs, and quainter discographies, these inspired audio tomes lost to time only to end up in some jackass’s record collection and to be written about on some website’s music column.

Endless Loop: Heaven

trustHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Heaven” by Trust

Man I’m getting old.  I notice it in every single white hair invading my head and beard space.  I feel it in every popping joint at night as I carry a sleeping toddler up the stairs.  And I sense it at every concert or festival I go to, content to hang in the back (maybe even with a chair!) as youthful bodies kick and sway up ahead, their eyes glossing over me, a boring and crumbling wallflower.  Pay no attention to the old fart drinking beer in the back.  He’s just here to listen.

Endless Loop: The Figurehead

cureHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“The Figurehead” by The Cure

Shawn’s Favorite Albums of 2017

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 5.46.43 PM2017 – not a bad year when compared to the virtual pop Armageddon of 2016. Still, as with any year, 2017 had a lot of ups and downs, most of which can be traced to the further deterioration of the civil fabric of our society, which in turn is largely due to A) the continued proliferation of narcissism and the selfishness it breeds and B) wacko celebrities in charge of big, important idea masses, like say entire countries. So while I’ve taken the irresponsible course of ignoring world events as much as possible, my inner space thrived in 2017. I’ll be publishing some stuff next year, and I had the long-awaited return of my most beloved of stories. And it did not disappoint. Accordingly, the list of my ten favorite albums of 2017 represents the albums that shaped me while writing, while watching and while working.

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