Rockabye Baby!, "Beautiful Day"
This is ostensibly a cover of the Green Day song. This was a gift to us, I think, a while back. And I suppose you can see the intended joke here - it's lulliby music! But also Green Day! Har! But overall, this is so far from anything resembling the original that you'd probably have to explain it to anybody to attempt to convey the levity. Please try to slip it in-between the giggle-snorts.
Lightning Bolt, "Caught Deep In The Zone"
Lightning Bolt's first album doesn't quite cohere the way that their later work does. You can really sense that there's some magic there, but it's just a little too muddled, a little too unfocused at times. The alchemy that they would perform later, where they manage to sound simultaneously tight and flying apart, isn't here yet. They're still kind of in pieces. It's worthwhile to hear where they came from, but it's kind of only for completists. Nice leap between these first two tracks, though!
William Bell, "A Tribute To A King"
I've mentioned a few times that the first phase of Stax Records ended with the end of their relationship with Atlantic Records. And that's true, but of course there was another event that also took place at about the same time: Otis Redding's tragic death in a plane crash in December 1967. Otis was easily the biggest star on the label as well as one of the key songwriters, and his death was going to change the course of the label one way or another. Here, we have William Bell's sweet tribute to Redding's memory, and it always gets me sad.
Not only was it a huge loss for the music world that Redding died so young, but Redding was one of my father's favorite artists. I remember especially a time when we were working on putting up some wallboard, and "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" came on the radio. We were sitting down taking a break, and he talked to me about how much he loved the song. It was just a minor moment, a thing of little importance, but it sticks with me to this day. My father also passed far too early, and Redding's music connects me to his memory, and brings that moment back to me.
I wonder what songs, what artists, my kids will connect with me when I'm gone. I hope that they'll remember me alongside someone as great and timeless as Redding. It's just another great thing my dad passed along to me.
Vampire Weekend, "Giving Up The Gun"
Geez. Got dusty in here.
Uh, Contra is easily the worst album from Vampire Weekend. There's too many kind of lifeless electro-pop moves on the album for it to really land. This song is a good example - it doesn't sound frantic (in a good way), it sounds kind of pat.
My kids will probably remember me every time they hear a concrete truck going by, won't they?