Running Down a YouTube Rabbit Hole: 10 Old Songs that Made Tommy’s 2018 Brighter

joup2018So.  2018, right?  I just don’t know any more you guys.  I mean yeah, we got a ton of great music released this year, some great books, great comics, great television, and it was an absurdly good year for film too.  But as we hurdle closer and closer to a worldwide authoritarian state and the impending hellscape that awaits us from climate change inaction, it all just feels like one big distraction. 

Don’t get me wrong, some distraction is good now and then.  It keeps us sane.  Speaking of which, here’s a bunch of year-end lists I made over the last couple weeks (here, here, here, here, here, and here).  And I guess I’m going to keep on distracting, at least for the amount of time it takes you to read this article, another year-end list. 

The Joup Friday Album: Nino Ferrer – Nino and Radiah

ninoferrerGenerally when I’m writing up one of these Joup Friday Album things, I stick to something from my collection of beloved albums, reviewing, re-hearing, and re-feeling all of the wonderful notes, moments, and sounds that made the record special to me to begin with.  But this time around, I thought I would try something different and take on a record that I do not own, though one that I have been wholly and completely infatuated with of late.  As an avid vinyl collector, I’ve had many an object of desire through the years, “holy grails” of sorts to search for, to hunt online for, to scour bins and garage sales for, to quest for and obsess over.  Whether it be the transparent gold edition of The Flaming Lips’s Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, a copy of Alvarius B’s Baroque Primitiva, or an original pressing of Wendy and Bonnie’s Genesis LP, I’ve always got my musical raison d’etre, my primary objective, my sacred idol.  My most recent is the fantastic 1974 album Nino and Radiah from Italian-French singer-songwriter Nino Ferrer, and that is what we are gathered round to listen to today.

Endless Loop: Experiment in Terror

henrymanciniHave 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.

“Experiment in Terror” by Henry Mancini

The Joup Friday Album: Jean-Claude Vannier – L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches

jeanclaudevannierHey guys, it’s scary out there.  And it’s only getting scarier.  So, why not get lost in an oddball record of orchestral pop?

After providing the arrangements on Serge Gainsbourg’s legendary 1971 album Histoire de Melody Nelson, French composer Jean-Claude Vannier followed up that landmark with a record of psych-tinged soundscapes that were like nothing else out there.  Ignored and lost to time upon its initial release, years later the record became rumor to salivating collectors in the know, a legend, a ghost, something entirely too amazing to actually exist.

Joup Friday Album: En hommage à la maîtrise d’un Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt at his best. Photo courtesy of pixsharp.com

The Joup Friday Album: Leonard Cohen – Death of a Ladies’ Man

leonardcohenSomewhat embarrassingly, I did not discover Leonard Cohen until I heard “Waiting for the Miracle” during the opening scene of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, and as much as I dug that movie, I was entranced by the soundtrack (compiled, assembled, and produced by Trent Reznor) and the two Cohen tunes in particular. The journey down the proverbial rabbit hole started from there. Over the next couple of years, I began to find Leonard Cohen’s music all over the peripheries of pop culture, be it Jeff Buckley’s stripped down and beautiful take on “Hallelujah,” or the soundtrack to Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller, or as an almost direct lyrical influence on Nick Cave. He was everywhere if you looked hard enough. It was wonderful, and I now consider myself a disciple.

Joup Friday (Err…Saturday) Feature Album: Brigitte Bardot Sings

Brigitte Bardot Sings (Phillips)

Brigitte Bardot Sings (Phillips)

So I’ve been staying in Logan Square in Chicago. Been subletting from my very good friend Liz whom is now in Oakland, CA running the wonderful conservatory Mynah Music. You can read my interview with her about Mynah here.

She’s a wonderful musician, accomplished in violin, piano and even guitar. I’m lucky enough to have an apartment that has a turntable and a great selection of international music. I’ve added to that collection thanks to Reckless Records in Wicker Park. But Liz had a hidden little jem by one Brigitte Bardot. Yeah, that Brigette Bardot, you know…And God Created Woman. Probably every man (especially French men) in the late 50s and early 60s dreamed about her and every woman…well I can’t really speak for them. She was though, an original “supermodel.” Truly.

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