The Joup Friday Album: Jarvis Cocker – Jarvis

jarviscockerIt’s weird to think that we are rapidly approaching being 10 years removed from the first decade of the 21st century.  As a teen, the year 2000 seemed to be so far ahead, an exciting and unknowable future, and now it’s been left long behind in the proverbial dust.  I can only assume that the cultural and historical significance of that decade will begin to bubble over in essays, thinkpieces, and documentaries in the coming years, its influence slowly creeping into modern art, music, literature, and such.  But for me, it’s kind of hard to pin down what the 00’s were all about…well, musically at least.

The Joup Friday Album – Kasabian: For Crying Out Loud

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Music fandom is so much different in the 21st century than it was just 25 years ago. When I fell in love with a band as a teenager, I scoured magazine racks for the tiniest mention of them. Liner notes included addresses where I could write bands (no doubt cringe-worthy) letters telling them how much I liked them, and in return I’d get at least a sticker or newsletter back, and on some rapturous occasions, an actual letter back from a band member! Today, everything is online – you can learn everything you want to know about a band with a quick google search and the most you can hope for by way of interaction is a tweet.

The Joup Friday Album: Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits

saturdaymorningSomething I don’t really see much of anymore are compilation tribute albums, those sonic testaments of inspiration and capital assembled together from a who’s who of whatever the kids are listening to and assorted old stalwarts to craft a quick and profitable loving homage to one of our respected audio forebears.  I don’t mean to sound snarky.  I’m not too good for these cash ins, as my old CD collection is proof to, but it seems like they used to be all over the place, lauding such artists as Depeche Mode, or Joy Division, or Led Zeppelin, or The Carpenters, but have now faded into relative obscurity with so much other 90’s detritus.

The Joup Friday Album: DJ Shadow – Endtroducing

endtroducingIt’s Friday night and my weekend has begun in the way I love most – I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop working on a new short story waiting for my baby to get off work. The story was having a little trouble flowing and that’s when I remembered that I recently put the legendary Endtroducing by DJ Shadow back on my iPod. If there’s one thing I learned about this record when my good friend Keller introduced me to it back in 2011 – yeah, I was late to this party for sure – it’s that Endtroducing is a powerful catalyst for the isolation and introspection of creative writing. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me. Full Disclosure: the version I have is one I purposely left the interstitial dialogue tracks off of in order to keep the otherwise mostly instrumental flow, so when you cue this up and hit play you’ll be hearing a slightly different version than me, but that doesn’t matter. The thing’s a classic and I only resorted to the blasphemy of altering it to ensure it keeps me where I use it to go.

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The Joup Friday Album: Yak – Alas Salvation

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For this review, I desperately wanted to find something new that I would love, rather than taking another walk down memory lane to revisit an old favorite, or finding something new that I was only lukewarm about. Unfortunately, given the cyclical nature of popular music, most of the things I like are deeply out of fashion at the moment. So I put a request out to my facebook friends (many of whom have more free time to discover new music than I do) for something that would land in my wheelhouse, a fairly narrow corridor that runs from melodic garage and punk, edges into shoegaze and psychedelia but only the more sprightly regions, and finishes up on the edgier fringes of power pop.

The Joup Friday Album: Blondie – Parallel Lines

I had the week of National Women’s Equality Day, and now I have the week of International Women’s Day. Back in August I had said “…we don’t need a day on the calendar for equality. We just need equality.”

With a shifting tide, I’m just going to go ahead and take the day. Screw it – let’s take the week. Let’s take the time and appreciate the likes of Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, and Mavis Staples (Seriously – did you hear her new track with Arcade Fire?) Let’s worship at altars dedicated to Etta James, Karen Carpenter, and Poly Styrene. Take your pick! Find an amazing woman who has contributed to your musical upbringing, turn the volume up, and spend some time with them!

The Joup Friday Album – Graham Parker & The Rumor: Howlin’ Wind

Howlin WindHowlin’ Wind by Graham Parker and The Rumor is an album of abundant substance. The story behind the band and the production of the record have a lot of sub-plots behind them so I will try to focus more on the record and its songs rather than try to form a family tree behind it. This will be hard because Howlin’ Wind was produced by Nick Lowe, features Dave Edmunds as a guest guitarist and was recorded at Eden Studios in London, a studio that had quite an impressive guest list from 1972 to 2007. You very well might have quite a few records that were recorded there: Elvis Costello, John Cale, Joe Jackson, The Happy Mondays, The Smiths, The Undertones, The Sex Pistols, Primal Scream and Oasis are just a few bands that have recorded at Eden Studios. That said, I will try to pin down the Album “Howlin’ Wind” and a give brief history of Graham Parker and the Rumor.

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