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Mike Bennett writesipod/MP3 Friday Shuffle — Happy Birthday Johnny Cash Edition

In 1972, I was in the living room with my mom and dad watching the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. Johnny Cash was singing a song live from the WLAC-TV studios in Nashville. During the performance, there was a camera shot from behind the Man In Black, and there, in the front row, was my Grandmother and Grandfather Booth. I was so excited. I would have been even more excited had they not cut away from the local feed after the performance, as my Grandfather went on the stage and gave Johnny a check for Muscular Dystrophy from the insurance conglomerate for which he worked. I have a picture of that presentation in my home. It’s hard to sum up Johnny Cash in a few words. He was a special part of American music, representing rebellion and a gentle spiritual side, but his religious songs didn’t proselytize — they dealt with the complexity of human behavior. Moreover, he was always, always cool. So in honor of Johnny, grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle, and share the first 10 tunes that come up.

  1. Donovan — Hurdy Gurdy Man (Love Is Hot, Truth Is Molten): Of course, I already knew this song (and also enjoyed the Butthole Surfers’ version), a fey psychedelic classic when I got this Australian compilation from the awesome Raven label. This generous comp spans Donovan’s prime ’60s work, from his days as a slavish Dylan imitator until he discovered his own flower power voice. Donovan isn’t great overall, but he did a lot of great work.
  2. Scissor Sisters — Lovers In The Back Seat (Scissor Sisters): This album was a revelation. A band that mixed disco, sometimes in a Pet Shop Boys-ish fashion, and classic ’70s pop, with a strong Elton John influence, and was proud to be pop. I haven’t listened to the whole thing in a while, but I think it may be a classic. The follow up was a bit overdone and I’m anxious to hear album number three, whenever that is. This is just a really good song, probably not too far from Robbie Williams’ better material.
  3. The Kinks — You Still Want Me (Greatest Hits): A rare early Kinks number that doesn’t really have a distinctive personality. This sounds more in the vein of The Searchers, a solid beat group harmony vocal number. It’s nice, but not a Grade A Kinks tune.
  4. Blur — Fade Away (The Great Escape): The Great Escape is my favorite Blur album, because it is the most multi-dimensional of their Brit pop efforts. On this album, the influence of Madness seems pretty strong, as illustrated by this ska-inflected number with a melancholy horn section and a haunting chorus. The trilogy of albums — Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape — is one of the better runs of the era.
  5. Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats — Rocket 88 (The Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll): This three CD compilation gathers early rock sides along with key pre-rock jazz, blues and country numbers. When musicologists debate what is the first rock ‘n’ roll song, this tune is certainly part of that conversation. The up-and-down rhythm on the bass, the swinging drumming and the lively piano and sax are all touchstones of the early rock ‘n’ roll sound. Regardless, an enduring classic.
  6. The Shazam — Oh No! (The Shazam): A great track from the best power pop band of the past 10 years or so. Hans Rotenberry has mastered the punchy pop sound typified by certain sides by The Who and The Move and perfected by Cheap Trick. Of course, none of this would mean anything if the band didn’t have such a big sound, with a beefy rhythm section and great guitar playing. And Rotenberry has scads of personality as a vocalist. Someday, when there’s a Nuggets of Late ’90s/early ’00s power pop, The Shazam will be one of the dominant bands on the collection.
  7. The Move — Wild Tiger Woman (Movements: 30th Anniversary Anthology): Hey, speak of the devil! Here’s the real thing. The early Move was full of masterfully melodic proto-Brit pop songs. Then, as time went on, they began to rock more and more. Sometimes it was with pure brute power, in a way that may have influenced fellow Birmingham rockers Black Sabbath. Other times, there was more of a ’50s vibe, as on this Roy Wood composition. Everything The Move did deserves attention.
  8. The Yardbirds — Here ‘Tis (Ultimate!): My iPod is leaning to the ’60s today. This is an early Yardbirds tune, when they were one of the most authentic blues/R & B bands amongst the British Invasion brigade. This song has a bit of a Bo Diddley feel, though it doesn’t have a classic Bo Diddley beat. This is the blues accelerated, and it blows away about 99 percent of the garage bands working today.
  9. The Sights — The Hott Seat (Are You Green?): This Detroit band was 80 percent garage rock with the other 20 percent being other ’60s rock influences. The debut mixes some great pop hooks with some intense rocking. This song is lifted a bit from Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”, using the basic rhythm as a jumping off point for some guitar freakouts. A fairly decent instrumental and quite short.
  10. Tubeway Army — It Must Have Been Years (Replicas): The album that made Gary Numan a star in England holds up so well. He made the most of his limited voice, making it a vehicle for his paranoid sci-fi fantasies. Replicas is a concept album, which, like most concept albums, isn’t well fleshed out in the lyrics. As Numan explained it, the British government has determined that it must program computers and robots to solve the country’s intractable problems. The computers determine that the real problem is humans, and seeks to kill them all. Cheery stuff. This tune is the best showcase for Numan’s underrated guitar playing. It really rocks.

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod

Mike Bennett writesipod/MP3 Friday Shuffle — Happy Birthday Peter Holsapple Edition

I’m passing on some major birthdays (Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Dave Wakeling of The English Beat and, of course, Falco) to honor Peter Holsapple, who, with and without Chris Stamey, did some amazing work with The dB’s in the ’80s and has gone on to The Continental Drifters and further work with Mr. Stamey. I got to interview Peter in college, when The dB’s opened for R.E.M. in Carbondale in 1984. He was a really nice guy with a great sense of humor. Me and my friend Dale ran into him after the gig, he had his hands full, so I opened the door for the band’s van…and a jar of peanut butter rolled out and shattered on the sidewalk below. Holsapple put down his stuff, said in a ceremonious voice, “He broke the jar of peanut butter!” and then said I was entitled to a prize for this deed. He reached in the van and gave me a copy of the new dB’s album, Like This. As an 18-year-old college student, this made me feel really cool, which happened so rarely back in those days. So please honor Mr. Holsapple and grab your iPod/MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

  1. The Liquor Giants — I Don’t Know Why (Something Special For The Kids): This is off of the Giants’ all covers album. Unlike most such affairs, the songs are, for the most part, quite obscure. This song was originally done by Sons Of Thunder, who I know nothing about. Ward Dotson and crew bust out the Farfisa for this tinny light garage rock song with almost a girl group feel.
  2. Pavement — Stare (Crooked Rain Crooked Rain): I am such a Johnny Come Lately to the Pavement party. Other than Slanted and Enchanted, there’s no Pavement album I love, as my iPod is introducing me to some of their music. That includes this low key track with a lot of reverb guitar. Not one of Pavement’s shining moments.
  3. Maximo Park — Going Missing (A Certain Trigger): One of the better new wave revivalists of the last decade, the band revolves around Paul Smith’s sharp lyrics and intent personality, which are supported by the tight playing of the supporting band. There are some slight post-punk nods here, but in the service of hooky, melodic ends. Oddly enough, though the band’s sound gets better with each album, the songwriting is a bit weaker each time out. So this debut album is the one to go with, if you’re only having one.
  4. Husker Du — No Promise Have I Made (Candy Apple Grey): Some folks ripped Husker Du a new one back in 1985, when they released their first major label album. Songs like this piano ballad from Grant Hart are why. This is an achingly tender ballad with a raw vocal performance from Hart. While this may have ticked off punk formalists, for those of us who were fans of Hart and Bob Mould as writers, hearing them expand their sound, retaining their emotional core was a great thing. A good song off a darned good album.
  5. The dB’s — Dynamite (Stands For Decibels): Hey! A birthday match!!! A very typical Chris Stamey song from the first dB’s album. Stamey was heavily influenced by Radio City-era Big Star and it’s reflected in this quirky power pop tune. Stamey drawls and draws out the melody, while Will Rigby punctuates and moves along the proceedings on the drums. Peter Holsapple adds some roller rink keyboards on one of many outstanding songs on this LP.
  6. Randy Newman — Mr. President (Have Pity on a Working Man)(Good Old Boys): The fact that Newman got any traction in the rock world is partially a testament to the notion that a well written song is a well written song. Other than the rhythm of this song, this tune could have been written in the ’30s, with its hint of a ragtime influence. The lyrics are more acerbic, of course. This is a second tier Randy Newman song, which is better than most writers first tier material.
  7. Pere Ubu — Heaven (Datapanik In The Year Zero): I got into Pere Ubu after they reunited, and had to work my way backwards to their early stuff. Some of it is dark, some of it is inaccessible, but some songs show that the band’s alleged pop moves in the late ’80s were foreshadowed. This is a pretty jaunty song, but for the industrial humming keyboard that oscillates throughout the song. Pere Ubu is the embodiment of one of the few maxims of music that I live by — you can’t screw with song form unless you know how to write a good song in the first place. This is a straightforward good song — most of the time they are messing with that form.
  8. Buck Owens — A-11 (Buck Owens Collection): This is one of Buck’s classic hits, a honky tonk lament about a guy who doesn’t want to hear a song on the jukebox that will dredge up awful memories. Of course, I’m sure Buck actually wanted people to play “A-11” on jukeboxes in honky tonks throughout the land, and I don’t know if anyone was averse to this song, even if wasn’t selection number A-11 on an actual jukebox.
  9. The Cardigans — Life (Rise & Shine): The first two Cardigans albums are soft-pop classics and it seems like subsequent releases found the band distancing itself from its past, as if it were embarrassed. They should be embarrassed about the sleepy serious recent efforts which waste the talents of Nina Persson, who is made for these sunny retro-‘60s pop numbers. One key to these songs is that The Cardigans were a rock band, so they played these soft numbers with a lot of punch, without overwhelming them.
  10. The Four Tops — Something About You (The Singles): I’ll have to check, I think this is a Holland-Dozier-Holland number … it is! This is classic Motown, with a driving rhythm and typically strong vocals (though Levi Stubbs does not take the lead) from the Tops. This is still the sound of Young America, for my money

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod

Nicole Oppenheim: Ear Candy writesMidwestern Housewife - The Kids are Alright

On Saturday mornings and afternoons, my beloved husband takes over the child-rearing duties which enables me to run necessary errands (groceries, dry cleaning, pharmacy runs, etc.) and also to have some time to myself. Because I’m the biggest dork in the universe, I tend to frequent stores selling fabric, art/craft supplies, coffee, and records. (Hey, Entrepreneurs! I would LIVE in a store that sold all of these things under one roof. I’m just sayin’.) But really, any location that offers relative peace and quiet and a chance for me to geek out about some of my favorite things is where I’ll be on any given Saturday.

This past Saturday found me indulging the bibliophile side of my personality at the library. After browsing through some new releases and picking up a variety of interesting-looking novels, I headed straight for the art section looking for something to inspire me to complete the piece I’m currently working on. Because I’m a total bookwhore, I couldn’t help glancing at the shelved tomes on the way there. In the parenting section, which I usually avoid like the plague, I spied a book called Bringing Up Happy Children. I hurried past, thinking, “My kids are happy, right?” I paused. Hmmm. Are they? Really? “Crap,” I thought to myself while pivoting on the spot, “I’d better read this book just to make sure.”

Such is the seductive power of so-called self help books. Damn you, Random Author with no extra letters after your name to denote a graduate degree! You have no special training in child psychology or a similar field, and are, therefore, no better qualified to write such a book than I am. You may not even have children! But I am compelled to pick up your book nonetheless. The title is written in a decent font, so you were at least smart enough to hire a qualified graphic designer. Dare I judge a book by its cover? Might you have some insights after all? I doubt it. And I intend to call your bluff.

I touch the book gingerly on its spine. I look around to see if anyone notices. My mind screams, “Nooooooo! Don’t do it! Don’t listen to the voice of doubt! You’re better than this!” And yet, like Orpheus looking back to check on Eurydice, I cannot resist the temptation. What if I’m wrong? What if the seemingly unqualified Random Author does know something I don’t? I quickly slip the book from the shelf into the middle of the pile I’ve amassed. Whew! That was close. That lady over by the computer terminals. Did she see me? Is she smirking? Crap. I abandon the promise of the art section for the time being, hang my head slightly and dash to a nearby study carrel to indulge my insecurities in peace.

Scanning the Table of Contents/List of Childhood Traumas, I ask myself what I’m most dreading as a parent. I’m not going to read the whole book, after all, just the portion that pertains to a truly odious parental responsibility that I’d rather avoid. I hit upon it towards the end of the list: The Talk. That awkward discussion about the birds and the bees that we all had with our hopelessly clueless parents at some point in our lives. Some of us giggled our way through it, others stuffed our fingers in our ears and shrieked “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you! Lalalalalalalalalala!” while we ran at warp speed out of the house. Ah, adolescence. Good times.

I begin the rationalization process: Valentine’s Day is here after all, and with all that romance in the air and naked little putti waiting to hit all unsuspecting humans with their aphrodisiac-tainted love darts, it could happen. My three-year-olds could ask me about where babies come from, right? Yeah, totally plausible. I’d better read up on how Random Author suggests I handle the situation. I turn to the correct page and commence reading.

Yada, yada, yada. Be a good listener. Use correct terminology for body parts. Don’t forget to address the emotional side as well. Yeah. All stuff I already knew. Sweet! My self-awarded Parent of the Millennium status remains intact! I knew it would! Phew, for a minute there I lost myself.*

This entire, and somewhat harrowing, process could have been completely avoided had I simply had confidence in my own parenting skills. My kids are normal toddlers who do not display any behavioral maladies for which I should actively seek out professional help. They aren’t cruel to animals. They don’t start fires. They don’t hit or bite other kids. They don’t even swear! So, what am I doing picking up a parenting-advice book written by a marginally-qualified author? Why this culture of fear and doubt? The problem is larger than the middle class parental milieu to which I belong. It’s endemic to all things American. But this is a subject for a dissertation, not a so-called parenting column written by a marginally-qualified at-home mom in Chicago.

As with all good life experiences, I learned a little something from my time at the library. (And truthfully, isn’t that what libraries are for?) I learned that I shouldn’t listen to the voice of doubt who tells me I may not be doing things correctly. With parenting, there is no incorrect as long as your children are safe and thriving. There’s simply doing what you know and trusting that your kids will be fine. Let’s face it, you survived being brought up by your parents, right? Your kids will survive, too.

When people ask me what I do to get my kids to do X, my answer is always the same: nothing. I’m there to guide them, but they’re driving the stagecoach. When they get too unruly, I calm them. When they get tired, I put them to bed. When they get bored, I read to them or play trains with them or engage in another similar activity that they find fun. I’m not constantly hounding them with flashcards to make sure they’re maximizing learning time, nor am I pushing them to achieve athletically or to become involved in activities I find interesting and/or valuable. Winchie and Squeaky are fine how they are. The world is theirs to explore and they will naturally gravitate toward and learn about things they enjoy.

So to parents who are all freaked out that little Johnny or Susie isn’t reading by the time they’re two or haven’t reached superstar status in their preschool by replicating Rodin sculptures with Play-Doh, I say this: chill. Take a deep breath, throw out all of those What to Expect… books and simply get to know your child/children. Your kids will tell you everything you need to know about them and when problems arise, trust your instincts. You’ll be fine. I promise. You don’t need questionable advice from self-helpers. You are all the authority you need.

Now go out there and have a great Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s kind of a crap holiday created by Hallmark and their ilk, but it celebrates love, which is never a bad thing. Go find a special someone and give him/her a squeeze. And because you are all the authority you need, the location of said squeeze is entirely up to you. * wink, wink *

*Thanks, Thom Yorke! Ok Computer rules!

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Categorized: Midwestern Housewife

Topics: midwestern housewife

Mike Bennett writesipod/MP3 Friday Shuffle — Happy Birthday Grant McLennan Edition

Today, let’s pay tribute to the late, great Grant McLennan, one of the two songwriters who fueled the wonderful Australian band, The Go Betweens. Their warm and pensive melodic guitar songs often had subtle undercurrents of The Velvet Underground and post-punkers. Both McLennan and his partner, Robert Forster, played literate and humanistic songs, sometimes sparely and sometimes with grandeur, but almost always extremely compelling. In honor of Grant, please grab your iPod/MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first ten tunes that come up.

  1. Sex Pistols — New York (Never Mind The Bollocks): Yes, the music sounds comparatively tame 33 years after the fact, but in the context of the 1977 rock scene, the Pistols were a gob of fresh air. And the music does still rock and Johnny Rotten sounds more menacing that almost anyone he inspired. This is a lesser number from one hell of a rock and roll album. One other thing — the most important aspect of the Sex Pistols’ legacy is how they fueled the D.I.Y. movement. The number of Brits who saw them and formed a band is staggering, and one of those bands, Buzzcocks, put out Spiral Scratch, the first true indie release, and started a movement that CHIRP is effectively part of.
  2. Blue Oyster Cult — Godzilla (Spectres): This hilarious tribute to everyone’s favorite mutant dinosaur killing machine awakened by nuclear testing showed that the Cult could not only traffic in subtle black humor, but also in up front fun. I’m baffled why this was never released as a single. If you want to explore some truly cool ’70s heavy metal, BOC is the place to start.
  3. Original Sins — Rather Be Sad (The Hardest Way): John Terlinsky, who later went on to do the Brother JT thing, led this great garage rock band during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Terlinsky is a really good songwriter, with a strong sense of melody, and then throws in some fuzzy guitars and the requisite garage rock organ on this tale of a guy who’d rather be sad, because he knows he’s going to get hurt by love in the end.
  4. The Brothers Johnson — The Devil (Look Out For #1): This is about as funky as George and Louis Johnson got, in a cautionary tale of how sinning will get “your ass burnin’” for a really long time. These guys were funk lightweights, but working with mentor Quincy Jones, they often threw melodic twists into their songs that gave them a distinctive stamp. There are a couple of those on this tune to render it above average.
  5. Scritti Politti — Small Talk (Cupid & Psyche 85): Green Gartside’s transformation from ultra-leftist amelodic post-punker to subtly poltiical smooth synth-soul star is one of the more amazing stories of the ’80s, well chronicled in Simon Reynolds’ excellent book Rip It Up & Start Again. This is the album where the transformation was complete. Gartside’s airy tenor vocals managed to thread his wordy lyrics through some of the happiest darn white R & B you’ve ever heard. Dated, yes, but still catchy as hell.
  6. The Sames — There’s No Mystery Here (You Are The Sames): At one level, this is a fairly standard indie rock record, released in 2005, tailor made for college radio airplay. But this North Carolina band both fits in with and stands out from The Shins and The Arcade Fire and other contemporaries. How? By writing excellent songs, each which has a strong chorus or memorable instrumental hooks that really stick. If they were on Sub Pop, I think The Sames would have been big, as this was one of the best albums of 2005.
  7. E’Nuff Z’Nuff — In Crowd (Strength): This is not a cover of the ’60s hit by Dobie Gray. Blue Island’s pride and joy jumped on the hair metal bandwagon and was touted by Rolling Stone magazine as the next big thing. For some reason, perhaps because they were not sexist enough or didn’t have an androgynous frontman, they didn’t take off. And once you stripped away the bad make up and ignored the garish clothes, E’Nuff Z’Nuff were a Beatles/Cheap Trick inspired hard rock band with some metally trappings (especially in the flashy guitar solos). This is the best song on their second album, with strong vocals from Donnie Vie.
  8. Fine Young Cannibals — Love For Sale (Red, Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter): This album, which benefited AIDS research, is chock full of great modernized versions of classic Cole Porter tunes. I believe this is the final recording by the Cannibals, and they play this song in a jazzy acoustic guitar dominated arrangement, with Roland Gift emoting in characteristic fashion.
  9. Eleventh Dream Day — There’s This Thing (Lived To Tell): Wow, when my iPod is in Friday Shuffle mode, it loves Eleventh Dream Day. Not that I have a problem with it. This is a percussive cooker that uses a pretty basic blues chord progression and a variation on the Bo Diddley beat. You can actually dance a bit to this one.
  10. The Beat Farmers — California Kid (Tales Of The New West): The first Beat Farmers album came smack dab in the middle of a country rock revival in the mid-‘80s. Unlike the ’70s country rock, the bands tended to rock a bit more. The Beat Farmers were a bit less countrified than Jason & The Scorchers and The Long Ryders, but could twang away pretty well. This song spotlighted their drummer Country Dick, who had a rumbling baritone voice that was perfect for this tale of a horny outlaw.

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod

Mike Bennett writesiPod/MP3 Friday Shuffle — Happy Birthday Nigel Tufnel Edition

They say that if you have a choice between printing the facts and the legend, print the legend. But with the immortal Nigel Tufnel, the legend and the facts are one in the same. Since he first came into the public eye with the beat group The Thamesmen, Nigel has been turning it up to eleven night in and night out, blazing heavy metal trails that are still too hot for anyone to trod upon and follow. This Spinal Tap axe god, who shares a birthday with actor-director Christopher Guest, is still working on his first solo album, and perhaps we can all encourage him, by getting out your iPod/MP3 player, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 tunes that come up.

  1. The Go-Gos — Yes Or No (Talk Show): The third Go-Gos album is a hidden gem, fueled by stylized production by Martin Rushent. The album crackles with prominent drums, ultra jangly guitars and Belinda Carlisle’s dramatic singing. This mid-tempo track was a collaboration between guitarist Jane Wiedlin and Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks. The song is decidedly more conventional than most Sparks tracks, but has a few clever lines here and there.
  2. The Last — And They Laugh (Confession): The first reunion album from The Last ditched some of the garage-ier elements of their classic early work (like the L.A. Explosion album) in favor of the folkier Paisley Underground aspects. This wasn’t a problem, because these guys added teeth and guts to their post-Beau Brummels jangle. This is one of the best tracks on an album that overflows with passion.
  3. Gary Numan & Tubeway Army — Bombers (single version)(The Plan): Brittle sci-fi punk from Numan in the days before he discovered a synthesizer and began finding his direction. This song is based on a clipped guitar riff and Numan’s equally choppy vocal phrasing. His distinctive voice always oozes discomfort and paranoia. A reasonably catchy song indicative of the promise that his future work fulfilled.
  4. Jim Croce — Stone Walls (50th Anniversary Collection): I’m a big fan of Croce’s work. He found a unique conversational bluesy vocal style to go with his poppy folk story songs. Without looking at the CD, this is clearly an early work of his, as he sounds a lot more like a conventional folk singer on this far from authentic tale of prison life. Better things were ahead.
  5. Nomads — Stranded On A Dateless Night (Showdown! 1981-93): This Swedish garage rock band laid on the guitars thick but never too heavy. This sounds like a ’50s rock and roll number, a la “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care”, beefed up. The Nomads didn’t often venture into Cramps territory, but this comes close.
  6. Eleventh Dream Day — Dream Of a Sleeping Sheep (Lived To Tell): This is an electrified country stomp with the patented Crazy Horse-ish guitar stylings of early Eleventh Dream Day. Rick Rizzo’s lead guitar work is magnificent, while Janet Beveridge Bean slams out a bopping beat.
  7. Darker My Love — Waves (2): This L.A. band melds retro psychedelic rock with shoegazer dreaminess on its most recent album. Some songs reach a midpoint of those two styles, but this leans heavily on the psych side, with some genuine guitar freak outs, with a mellotron breakdown in the middle before one last dash of feedback and spectral harmony vocals.
  8. Nick Heyward — Whistle Down the Wind (North Of A Miracle): I’m still baffled why the first solo album from the former leader of Haircut One Hundred wasn’t a worldwide smash. Heyward knows how to write a big hook and this widescreen ballad sounds like it would have been perfect for the early-‘80s pop charts. It’s the rare song of this type that isn’t overwrought, which is a credit to Heyward’s measured vocal performance and the lovely string and horn arrangements that make this emotionally affecting instead of manipulative cheese.
  9. The House Of Love — Touch Me (1986-88 The Creation Years): Another appearance by Guy Chambers and company. This mid-tempo song is keyed on a gently ebbing drum pattern with accompanying strumming guitars. Chambers’ vocal is doubled up in a very ’60s style harmony vocal, making for a pleasingly retro pop song. Then Terry Bickers rips off a spectacular dramatic guitar solo which gives the song a lot more heft.
  10. Neil Finn — She Will Have Her Way (Try Whistling This): Neil’s first solo album found him experimenting more with keyboards and textures, freed from a band format (not that Crowded House didn’t do some of this) leading him into some new territory. But there was still room for a straightforward guitar pop song, and this showed that Finn hadn’t exhausted his supply of silky smooth melodies. The way he draws out that melody in the chorus and little arrangement tricks show why Neil Finn is a pop master.

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod

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