Showing posts from May, 2017

The Death Penalty & "Master's of the Deal"

Not many may know, but Eric Bachmann, North Carolina indie hero of the 1990s, is still making music. Bachmann's former band Arches of the Loaf showed up on plenty of mix tapes alongside Pavement, Sonic Youth, and other fuzzed out Gen-X tunesmiths.

What one might of noticed when listening to those tapes was that there was something a bit less lackadaisical about Bachmann's approach. His carefully considered lyrics and solid-rock song construction evidenced the work of a true craftsman, a mark that remains true to present day. Case in point: "Master's of the Deal", the title track from his 2016 solo album.
About the Song:
Bachmann's "Masters of the Deal" presents one of the most compelling songs put to tape regarding the death penalty. Bachmann zooms out his lens here, and maximizes the emotional impact without being preachy or feeling like there was a need to verify his status as a card carrying liberal. The song makes a smart plea for the eradication…

Lost in a Dream: Bob Dylan, 1967-1974

If Bob Dylan was the folkie in the early 1960s, the slick rocker in the mid 1960's, then in the late 1960s into the early 1970s he was the country dad. Many of the songs Bob put out in this period exalted rural family life, and communicated a certain kind of carefreeness that lingers in the air on a spring day. Bob has said in his memoir, Chronicles, that the songs he wrote could "blow away in cigar smoke, and that suited me just fine".

During this time, Bob released John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait, New Morning, and Planet Waves, five albums that you could easily listen to on a country drive, while tossing your line in the water, or when on a leisurely walk through pastoral fields.

I should that the two albums on the "edges" of this period, John Wesley Harding and Planet Waves, don't quite exemplify this rural carefreeness as much as the other three do, but still. . .

John Wesley Harding might be a bit less carefree than the other two, a…

Shuffle: Reviewing 5 Random Songs

Time for a new installment of "Shuffle" (a review of 5 random songs).
First installment of "shuffle" is here.

"Beach Comber": Real Estate
Sit back in your beach chair, kick away the styrofoam cups at your feet and listen to this melodic, wandering guitar-rock band seep into your consciousness. Most of the songs from Real Estate sound relatively similar, and the vibe is all suburban, mischievous, and relaxed.

"When I Look at the World": U2
A fuzzy, warm guitar introduces us to this emotional tune from U2 and never lets go, only inviting some well placed keys and a steady, fizzy beat along for the ride. As expected, the song does reach an emotional high point as Bono laments that "I tried to be like you/ try to feel it like you do/ But without you it's no use/ I don't see what you see". This song is big on emotions and shallow on the details, and the instrumentation is heavily pop-influenced.

"Blue Flower/Blue Flame": Des…

List of Fascinating Americans

Running List of interesting Americans. . . 

Jonathan Edwards preacher

Ben Franklin early celebrity 

Tom Paine political pamphlet author

Abigail Adams early American figure and presidential spouse

Sacagawea Native American guide

Nat Turner lead a slave rebellion

Abe Lincoln Civil War President

John Brown Attempted to lead a violent overthrow of slavery

Susan B. Anthony Women's rights activist 

Frederick Douglas Early American intellectual 

Harriet Tubman facilitated freedom & escapes north

Robert E. Lee Confederate general 

Sitting Bull Lakota Sioux holy man and chief

Emily Dickinson New England recluse and poet

Mark Twain American author, witty

Black Elk- Lakota Sioux holy man, carried on tradition though 1930 book, follower of Crazy Horse

Richard Wright southerner, writer of memoirs and fiction

Helen Keller Blind-deaf activist and educator

Upton Sinclair muckraker-Chicago journalist

Billy Sunday baseball player and preacher

Woody Guthrie folksinger

Dorothy Day Social activist, Catholic