The Music Still Hasn’t Stopped

Posted by Jim on Jun 12th, 2015
Jun 12

With the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead and the special anniversary concerts coming up, a lot of people on the Internet are praising the band and compiling ideal setlists. I’ve decided to do the same, although this isn’t necessarily what I’d want to hear if I was going to one of the shows this summer. This is more of a dream compilation featuring songs from the many eras of the Grateful Dead. I don’t think it could ever be played how I picture it in my head.

I: Bertha, Row Jimmy, Help on the Way > Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower, Sugar Magnolia > Iko Iko, Brown Eyed Women, Jack Straw, Deal, Blow Away

II: Playing in the Band > Dark Star > Sugaree > Cryptical > The Other One > Cryptical > The Wheel > Going Down the Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away, And We Bid You Goodnight

E: Box of Rain, The Music Never Stopped > Hey Jude Finale

Alto & Tenor ≥ Baritone & Soprano, imho.

Posted by Jim on Jan 26th, 2015
Jan 26

I wrote up this post almost two months ago with the hopes of adding a few more examples. I haven’t gotten around to do that, so I’ll post it as-is.

After the recent death of Bobby Keys, I spent some time thing about my favorite rock n roll sax solos. The sax solo is a time-honored tradition, and I’m sure there are many lists already compiled that would be a much more interesting read than anything I could come up with, but I did think about one aspect of the sax solo that probably doesn’t get nearly enough attention: the sax player shout out by the front man. So, here is a list of some of my favorite shout outs.

Birthday Wishes

Posted by Jim on Nov 23rd, 2009
Nov 23

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Bull Moose.  I’m not sure of the actual date the first store in Brunswick opened, but since mentions of the anniversary have become more frequent, both at Bull Moose’s site and in the media, I figured the time was right for me to post some memories of my favorite music/movies/video games/etc. store.

I’m pretty sure that my first visit to a Bull Moose was in the spring of 1998.  Some friends and I left Waldoboro to drive into South Portland to do some shopping in the mall area.  On our way through Brunswick someone decided we should stop to visit a record store I had never heard of before; the only music store in town I was familiar with was the chain store at Cook’s Corner.  I remember walking in and being impressed with both the huge selection of music, but also with all of the other merchandise, as well as the cool music playing and interesting stickers and posters covering the walls and windows.  This wasn’t slick or corporate, it was like visiting a cool friend’s basement rec room.  I knew that in a few months, when I started attending Bowdoin, that I would be spending a lot of time at this quirky shop right down the road (it wasn’t until a few years later that I learned the founder of Bull Moose was a Bowdoin grad; I began to love the store even more).

I don’t have the receipt of my purchases that day, but I do know one of the discs I walked out the door with was Old and In the Way’s self-titled release.  I was getting into the Grateful Dead over the past year and had recently been introduced to Jerry Garcia’s diverse side projects.  This bluegrass effort seemed like a promising album and eleven years later, I still consider it one of my favorites.  Besides the CD I purchased, I do have one other memento from that day.  I signed up for my frequent buyers card during that visit, and I still have the same card in my wallet.  It’s been in my pocket longer than any other card I carry, and I’ve had to repair it with packing tape to keep it from breaking in half, but it is still the one card that I don’t leave home without.

Beaten and broken but still earning me points

Beaten and broken but still earning me points

I’ve had a lot of great experiences at the various Bull Moose stores, here are some of my favorites:

Walking down the stairs and into the Old Port location to find myself in the middle of a very low key El Vez live performance.

Spending a gift certificate for my birthday on The FeeliesOnly Life” album and being told by the cashier that “every time someone purchases a Feelies reissue an angel gets its wings.”

Being called out by name when I accidentally left my frequent buyer card behind at the counter.  Sure, maybe the only reason the girl working new my name was because she had just scanned my card, but I’d like to think it was because I was visiting the Brunswick store an average of two to four times a month.

Buying a copy of Johnny Cash‘s Unearthed box set (in pristine condition) from the used section and being complimented for my good taste in music while also being chided for buying it before any of the staff had a chance to set it aside for themselves.

I was in the Brunswick store late on a Saturday night when I was kicked out because the store was closing.  I was having somewhat of a tough time at college at that point, and this was one in a long number of Saturday nights I hadn’t done anything exciting.  I had decided to go cheer myself up with a music purchase.  The store was about to close and I didn’t want to leave empty handed, so I grabbed the Talking Heads Remain in Light disc.  I had never heard the album, and only knew that it was supposed to be good (Phish had covered it in its entirety and that was enough of a recommendation for me at the time).  The guy working who was kicking me out told me I had made an awesome choice as he rung me up. Unbeknownst to him, that little compliment made my day.  That disc also turned me into a devoted Talking Heads fan.  I now own all of their albums, all purchased from various Bull Moose locations.  [For years, the first thing I would do when I went to Bull Moose was check the used section for any Talking Heads CDs I didn’t own; about three years ago I finally found a copy of Little Creatures, the elusive holdout in my collection.]

As I implied above, in college I was a pretty big Phish fan.  The band was playing two nights at the Cumberland County Civic Center in December of 1999 and I wanted tickets for both nights.  I had quite the scare when I went to buy my tickets at Bull Moose.  I don’t know if the cashier hit a wrong button, but when I first tried to get them, he told me the show had just sold out (the people in front of me in line all got tickets).  Luckily for me, he tried again and was able to secure my tickets for the shows.

In one of many musical discoveries, I remember being at the Scarborough store with my then girlfriend, now wife, and hearing some impressive rockabilly/bluegrass/awesome music over the loudspeakers.  After about 15 minutes of listening while browsing, we had to find out what we were listening to.  It was Langhorne Slim‘s When the Sun’s Gone Down album, a copy of which we promptly bought (and have been fans of ever since).  [Which reminds me, I need to come in and get his latest release!]

While not happening in the store, nor exclusive to a single event, I need to list this decidedly Bull Moose occurrence.  If you are like me, and love to spread your love of Bull Moose, I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience.  I love watching the reactions of friends and family members when they unwrap a gift to discover a dreadful looking CD, only to open the case and realize what they are actually holding is a Bull Moose gift certificate.  [Also, I have to celebrate that Bull Moose still offers gift certificates in “bad cd” form; it’s so much more fun to give or receive than a gift card.]

All of these moments stand out enough in my mind for me to recount them here, but I think the small, insignificant experiences that blend together are the ones that I  remember most fondly.  I don’t know many times my friends and I have walked into a store and spent literally hours browsing, trying to decide which or the thousands of great discs we should spend out money on.  At this point in my life, my collection is too large to remember where each CD came from, but I know a number originated as a discovery in the used section.  Usually when I find a great disc for a pre-owned price I think about how lucky I am, but once in a while I feel sorry for the person who had to give up such great music.  I can’t think of another store that makes something as mundane as shopping into such a wonderful experience for me.

I’m really glad that Bull Moose is still with us (the full 20 years for some of you, 11 for me).  We hear a lot about how the recording industry is changing and that it is impossible for independent music stores to survive.  At this time of the year, when we think about all the things we are grateful for, I am very thankful that Bull Moose has proven to be successful in spite of what is occurring in the words of music and movies as well as in the face of such difficult economic times.  I hope it is around for a long time to come.  I can’t imagine buying my music, movies, or video games any place else.

Lastly, a collection of some of the words of wisdom printed on my old receipts:

  • steely dan makes me weep.
  • experience the awe of the moist gumball
  • beck really wants you to dance
  • harry potter books not sold here
  • ask chad why he’s called “chadmatoes.”
  • harry connick mowatt jr.
  • …hang on to the sasss…
  • dinosaurs once roamed here—never forget
  • I was negative 2 in 1985
  • how many times can you watch zombies?
  • my lips feel like warm cheese
  • pathetic attempt to sound indie
  • it’s not a glow-stick, it’s a slim jim!
  • what about the voice of geddy lee?

Ornette Coleman – Town Hall 1962

Posted by Jim on Jan 2nd, 2009
Jan 2

Ornette Coleman - Town Hall, 1962In 1959 and 1960 Ornette Coleman was at the forefront of the free jazz movement.  His albums for Atlantic Records during this period were as revolutionary as they were controversial.  The name of the movement itself came from the title of one of his albums. After a few sessions in early 1961, Coleman would take a hiatus from recording, not releasing any new material until 1965, except for this partial document of his December 21, 1962 concert at New York City’s Town Hall.  For this performance, Coleman used a new trio, not the group featured on his Atlantic recordings.  David Izenzon playing the upright bass and the drummer Charles Moffett would also form the heart of Coleman’s group when he returned to the studio in 1965.

The album opens with two standard (for Ornette Coleman) songs.  Of course, the Coleman standard was unlike anything else in jazz.  Doughnut and Sadness (both Coleman compositions) clock in at nine and a half and four and a half minutes in length.  Doughnuts features exceptional alto playing by Coleman and frantic yet stabilizing drumming by Moffett.  Much of Coleman’s playing features fast honking phrases that he had become known for.  The shorter piece, Sadness, finds Izenzon using a bow on his bass to play long, deep notes.  Coleman also extends his playing, by using fewer notes but holding them for much longer.  It provides the song with a haunting feeling perfectly captured in its title.

The third cut, Dedication To Poets And Writers, is a Coleman composition, but the author does not play on it.  In fact, Coleman commissioned a string quartet to perform his piece.  Although sonically it is drastically different from the horn playing heard so far on the album, the piece has the undeniable feeling of Coleman.  The music is both furious and piercing, yet extremely listenable.  Interestingly, it features no improvisation, which is unlike Coleman’s other work.  This album features the only available version of the song; Coleman never adapted the piece for a jazz combo.

The album ends with a track that took up the entirety of side 2 of the original LP: The Ark.  This is the cut that shows why Coleman was at the top of his game as he went into his self-imposed exile from recording.  It begins with loud sax phrases and continuous cymbil work over calm bowed bass tones and continues on for neary 24 minutes.  The rhythm section drops out occasionally to give Coleman room to improvise alone.  Coleman returns the favor, allowing each of his sidemen solo passages.  Near the end of the piece, Moffett gets a long section to himself to bring the piece to a wild close just a Coleman reappears to wrap things up, with the final notes coming from Izenzon vibrating bass.  Its a remarkable performance containing the finest elements of Coleman’s advanced work for Atlantic, yet stripped down to the bare essentials with this new trio.

Town Hall 1962 was originally released on ESP as ESP Disc 1006.  It is available digitally through eMusic.  Session information (including songs performed at the concert but not released on this disc) is availble through the Jazz Discography Project.

Musically Speaking

Posted by Jim on Jan 2nd, 2009
Jan 2

One thing I’d like to with this blog this year is post a series of album reviews. I spend a lot of time listening to music, and enjoy talking about it. It’s about time I wrote some of this down and shared it with you. I’m not sure how often I’ll post album reviews, but I’d like to do at least one a week, if I can. The first review will be posted shortly.

WMPG Record Sale 2008

Posted by Jim on Nov 8th, 2008
Nov 8

Here are the eight albums I purchased at this year’s WMPG records sale (for $2 each!):

  • Robert Palmer – Pressure Drop
  • The Doobie Brothers – Minute By Minute
  • Yaz – Upstairs at Eric’s
  • Laura Nyro – Eli and the 13th Confessional
  • Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac (1975)
  • The Waterboys – Fisherman’s Blues
  • David Bromberg – Demon in Disguise
  • David Bromberg – Sideman Serenade

There were a few albums I decided not to purchase, like some Tom Rush, Kenny Loggins and live Genesis.  I did not find any Randy Newman lp’s I didn’t alreadyown, which was disappointing, but I was very excited to find two David Bromberg albums I didn’t own.  Overall, a sucessful record sale.

On the bike ride home, I stopped in to Novare Res and had a few more bottles.  I’m now at 184 out of 200 for the Uprising.  There are two people (that I know of) ahead of me (in addition to the four who have already finished).  I estimate that I’ll be done by Thanksgiving.  I’m really excited!  It has been a very elightening and rewarding journey thourgh all sorts of new beers.

Also: good news regarding the Trappist event at Novare this Tuesday.  Even if you can’t pony up the $60 to take part in the Trappist beer tasting that night, you can still go and enjoy a few fine bottles of beer.  The tasting will be taking place in the side room (sorry fans of darts and leather couches); the main room will be open to the public.  Perhaps I’ll see you there!

Sounds Inside My Television

Posted by Jim on Feb 22nd, 2008
Feb 22

I’ve been enjoying Season 4 of LOST so far. In fact, I think I’m addicted to it. From Friday mornings until the next episode airs, I’m constantly reading fan sites
for insight, information and theories. One of the more light-hearted fixes I take part in is the MySpace band “Previously On Lost,” who recap each aired episode with a funny song. Hypeful had entries on their site with links to the first two recap songs (1, 2), but have not yet posted number three and have removed the direct download links from the first two songs. All the songs are available on the band’s MySpace page though, either through streaming or through a storefront right on the MySpace page.  Very convenient!  Go support LOST obsessed independent artists and enjoy some fun music.

Previously on Lost on MySpace

Update: I’ve removed the information on getting the mp3 files per the band’s request and edited the post to reflect this.  If I hadn’t, I think the band would have fed me to the smoke monster.

First Concert of the Year

Posted by Jim on Jan 20th, 2008
Jan 20

I got to see the Fiery Furnaces last night at Space Gallery.  What a great show!  I’ve quickly (i.e. in 3 weeks or so) gone from knowing virtually nothing about this band to becoming a big fan.  I still haven’t waded through the album they recorded with their grandmother, but all of their other discs I’ve really enjoyed.  Highlights last night: an audience requested Tropical Ice-Land and a blazingly sped-up take on Asthma Attack.

Favorite Band Game

Posted by Jim on Jan 17th, 2008
Jan 17

Following the rules set out on The Accordion Guy’s blog, construct a dada album cover.

  1. The band’s name comes from the random Wikipedia entry link
  2. The album title is constructed from the last four words of the final quote on’s random entries page
  3. For the cover art, use the third image on Flickr’s interesting photos page

By using these three links, I have created “Time To Ask Questions” by Roman Legion!


Sing a Song of ’07

Posted by Jim on Dec 30th, 2007
Dec 30

I listened to more new music this year than any previous year, thanks to all the music blogs listed in the sidebar.  It’s through them that I discovered all sorts of new bands and great albums.  What follows is a list of my favorite albums of the year (in alphabetical order).

  • Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights
  • Daft Punk – Alive 207
  • Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
  • The National – Boxer
  • New Pornographers – Challengers
  • Chromeo – Fancy Footwork
  • Polyphonic Spree – Fragile Army
  • Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  • Octopus Project – Hello Avalanche
  • Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
  • Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
  • Broken West – I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On
  • White Stripes – Icky Thump
  • Stars – In Our Bedroom After the War
  • Rustic Overtones – Light At the End
  • Hold Steady – Live at Fingertips EP
  • The Miss Fairchild Mix Tape
  • Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala
  • Shout Out Louds – Our Ill Wills
  • Feist – The Reminder
  • Bettye Lavette – Scene of the Crime
  • Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
  • Dan Deacon – Spiderman of the Rings
  • Okkervil River – The Stage Names
  • David Bromberg – Try Me One More Time
  • Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight
  • Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back
  • Shins – Wincing the Night Away
  • Black Kids – Wizard of Ahhs EP

Late every December, I like to make a mix CD of my favorite songs from the past year to play at whatever New Years party I find myself at.  This year, I heard so much good music, I had to make two discs.  Here are the track lists:

Disc 1 (Track – Artist – Album)

  1. Tell Me    Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings    100 Days, 100 Nights
  2. Section 22: Running Away    The Polyphonic Spree    The Fragile Army
  3. Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse    Of Montreal    Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
  4. Okie Dokie    Dan Deacon    Spiderman of the Rings
  5. Truck    The Octopus Project    Hello Avalanche
  6. + 81    Deerhoof    Friend Opportunity
  7. Rehab    Amy Winehouse    Back To Black
  8. Down in the Valley    The Broken West    I Can’t Go On I’ll Go On
  9. 15    Rilo Kiley    Under The Blacklight
  10. Ankle Injuries    Fujiya & Miyagi    Transparent Things
  11. The Underdog    Spoon    Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  12. A Postcard to Nina    Jens Lekman    Night Falls Over Kortedala
  13. I Feel It All    Feist    The Reminder
  14. Myriad Harbour    The New Pornographers    Challengers
  15. You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)    The White Stripes    Icky Thump
  16. What’s Left Behind    The Sadies    New Seasons
  17. Hate It Here    Wilco    Sky Blue Sky
  18. Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe    Okkervil River    The Stage Names
  19. A Comet Appears    The Shins    Wincing The Night Away
  20. Empty Hearts    Josh Ritter    The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
  21. Light At The End    Rustic Overtones    Light At The End

Disc 2

  1. The Dance of the Hours    The Clientele    God Save the Clientele
  2. Heretics    Andrew Bird    Armchair Apocrypha
  3. Melody Day    Caribou    Andorra
  4. Computer Camp Love    Datarock    Datarock Datarock
  5. Around The World / Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger    Daft Punk    Alive 2007
  6. D.A.N.C.E.    Justice    †
  7. Det snurrar i min skalle    Familjen    Det snurrar i min skalle
  8. Paper Planes    M.I.A.    Kala
  9. Grace Kelly    Mika    Life In Cartoon Motion
  10. I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You    Black Kids    Wizard of Ahhhs
  11. Boy With A Coin    Iron & Wine    The Shepherd’s Dog
  12. Two    Ryan Adams    Easy Tiger
  13. I Want You to Want Me    The Holmes Brothers    State Of Grace
  14. Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye Lavette)    Bettye Lavette    The Scene of the Crime
  15. Mistaken For Strangers    The National    Boxer
  16. Welfare Bread    King Khan & His Shrines    What Is?!
  17. Tonight I Have To Leave It    Shout Out Louds    Our Ill Wills
  18. Missed the Boat    Modest Mouse    We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
  19. The Man In Love    Nick Lowe    At My Age
  20. When I Get To The Border    M. Ward ft. Zooey Deschanel    The Go-Getter OST
  21. The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room    Flight of the Conchords

There are a few albums I have yet to hear, which may end up added to my list of 2007 favorites (such as the I’m Not There soundtrack and releases from The Autumn Defense, Ween, Bruce Springsteen, and Son Volt), but as of year-end these are my favorites.  What were some of your favorite songs/albums from the past year?  What have I missed that I should check out?

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