The Joup Friday Album: Broken Social Scene – ‘You Forgot it in People’

Broken Social Scene's You Forgot it in People

Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot it in People

Nature is reclaiming my elderly neighbour’s house. Really rubbing his nose in it. Recently I’ve been walking around all my former haunts, and this album has been accompanying me. Of course, there’s nothing like the olfactory and auditory to fast-track you to your memory banks, but this is nostalgia illegitimately invoked since this is an album as new to me as the year. Ordinarily I try to unearth an album to share with you that I’ve lived with for a long time, but strangely, this is an album that takes me to the era it was made without me having heard it before.

2017…Meh: Looking Ahead to 2018

2018So, 2017 huh?  Look, I’ll be honest with you, I’ve really been struggling to come up with some kind of year-end list of pop culture phenomena and detritus that were special to me or that made the year great or whatever, and I just don’t think I can do it.  I’ll always have “Twin Peaks,” and this new cinematic Stephen King Renaissance has been pretty cool to watch take off, as well as all the other films I enjoyed (which you can read about here) this year.  And sure, I’ve got my albums and songs that I dug on a whole bunch just as I do every year (which you can also read about here, here, and here respectively), but I just can’t summon the power or the energy to write a recap that won’t sound like I’m repeating myself…or that will make up for the general, overwhelming hopelessness and despair that 2017 has been wrought with.

The Joup Friday Album: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Into the Great Wide Open”

Tom PettyOur family was middle class, blue collar, Polish and suburban. If you look at the average income of all the Chicago suburbs, Palos Hills falls literally right in the middle. Whatever “middle class” is these days, but in 1991 there was still a middle class and my brother and I grew up in it. As such we generally took one family trip a year, that is if my parents could afford it and get off of work. In the summer of 1991 we traveled west for not one but two weeks! I think my father’s rationalizing was we hadn’t taken a trip the previous year, and odds on after I graduated high school would not take another one as the four of us. This was “the last big family adventure!”
In late July we pilled into our tan Chevrolet four-door Suburban (the SUV before SUVs) and headed west on I-80. I will hand it to my parents, it was an epic trip and more then likely spawned my travel bug for years to come. We made stops at Pike’s Peak, the Grand Canyon, four corners, Las Vegas, The Great Salt Lake, Yellowstone National Park and The Devil’s tower. I’m sure there were a few kitch stops as well knowing my mother.
Appropriately enough, I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy during that two weeks. I had a black Sony Walkman and I loved that machine. I played so much music through that contraption in the four years between sophomore year in high school and freshman year at the university. On this trip it was REM’s Out of Time, Sting’s The Soul Cages and of course Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Into the Great Wide Open…today’s Friday album.

The Joup Friday Album: The Smiths – The Queen is Dead


We come to the final member of the Holy Trinity, The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead, which along with The Cure’s The Head on the Door and New Order’s Brotherhood, were the three albums I was given for Christmas when I was 13 that went on to influence my musical taste for the rest of my life. The Queen is Dead probably got the least play out of the three back then, but has proven to have the most staying power despite my ever-growing weariness with Morrissey and his… Morrisseyness. The simple truth is that I love the Smiths despite Morrissey, not because of him. Johnny Marr has been my lifelong guitar god and if I have to listen to an obnoxious narcissist bloviate over the top of him, it’s worth it to get those sweetass riffs and jangles.

The Joup Friday Album: The Postal Service – Give Up

The Postal Service - Give Up

The Postal Service – Give Up (Sub Pop)

I really thought someone would have already chosen this record for a previous edition of The Joup Friday Album. However, a quick search for “The Postal Service” in the search bar in the upper right column came back with nothing… so here you have it: The Joup Friday album comes from various parts of the world; The Postal Service’s only full length release on Sub Pop Records, entitled “Give Up.”

The Joup Friday Album: (smog) ‘Accumulation: None’

smog accumulation noneThat kid who sat at the back of the class, seemingly almost monochromatic except for his Egon Schiele pink-tinged skin? You never heard of him again. You assume he was institutionalised after leaving school for the strange things he was rumoured to be doing to the neighbourhood pets in his bedroom. Or perhaps he even managed to drift along under the radar for a while until he finally did that hushed-up ‘something’ that got him put away for the rest of his natural days. It thrills my soul to think, that for someone in the world, that kid has wandered back into their consciousness as a bona fide dyed-in-the-wool purveyor of American song. The signs were already apparent on the aptly named ‘Supper’, the penultimate, most accomplished album of Smog’s career to that point. The songs were sumptuously crafted, achingly poignant or else chugged-along rockingly, teeming with an abundance of astute observation delivered in his trademark laconic style. After declaring his love for a watercourse, the Smog lifted, and along with it, so did his mood…albeit temporarily, making it easy to forget that this monochromatic, Egon Schiele-skinned kid used to do strange things to his tape recorder in his bedroom.

Quick Thought: Battle of the Continents


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