Current DJ: Ross M: Conceptually Gross
Talking Heads Mr. Jones from Naked (Fly) Buy Talking Heads Naked at Reckless Records Buy Talking Heads at iTunes Buy Talking Heads Naked at Amazon Add to Collection
by Josh Friedberg
For many, Peter, Paul & Mary were the most accessible entry point for the folk revival of the 1960s. Surprisingly, this remained true in the decades following, and part of this has to do with their participation in children’s music with two similarly titled albums.
I grew up on ‘60s folk music, and these were the two albums of theirs I grew up listening to the most. To be fair, I grew up with the Peter, Paul & Mary of PBS specials in the ‘80s and ‘90s, so my interaction with their music was different from most of their fans. This meant that I played the 1993 children’s album that they did, Peter, Paul & Mommy, Too, more than the original Peter, Paul and Mommy from 1969, and while both have their moments of beauty and pleasantness, I prefer the ‘90s album, partly because it has more songs geared towards adults, including Woody Guthrie’s “Pastures of Plenty,” though it also has moments much more targeted at kids.
Peter, Paul & Mary were actually a group put together by folk manager Albert Grossman in the early ‘60s, which makes their longevity all the more surprising. I remember reading in an obituary for Mary Travers in 2009 that the group won five Grammy awards during their initial reign in the ‘60s, the final one being for the 1969 children’s album. In the 2004 DVD, Carry It On: A Musical Legacy, Peter Yarrow talks about how from the beginning, the group put children’s songs on all their albums, including “It’s Raining” and “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” both reprised on the 1969 album.
by Jessi Roti
Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, the Goblin King, or just Bowie –whatever identity he claimed, he shared with us and we loved him even more for it. Rock’s first champion of the weirdos, David Bowie’s art was rapturous from beginning to end. While he has now floated far from the physical world, his legacy – when stripped of the glitter, costumes, and alter-egos, is most simply and beautifully all about being true to oneself.
The very first record I played on my turntable was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I was 16 and it was a gift from my cousin, Paul. As soon as I dropped the needle on “Five Years,” it was kismet. Sure, I had heard “Changes” and the ultimate anthem, “Rebel, Rebel” (which is forever tattooed on my left arm), but I had never sat and listened to a full, Bowie record; experiencing the entire spectrum of the humanity as he, as his character, had lived and died.
To tell the truth, I have no idea where I picked up this record. In my head it was Mod Lang in Berkeley but I'm not sure in late 1988 I was hip to that little shop. I was doing most of my time loitering in Rasputin's and Amoeba but my brain keeps showing me grabbing this in a smaller shop. I suppose the beauty of memory is how you basically fill in the gaps with whatever and it becomes reality. All I really know is, like so many records bought at the time, I dove in head first based on the cover and label (SST). This was very pre-internet so my research consisted of throwing money at things that looked cool and hoping for the best. This one worked out pretty well.
Background? Sure, I'll tell you a few things. In 1983 (and the tender age of 13) I started smoking a little pot. Also in 1983 I heard Metallica's Kill 'Em All. To say 1983 was a monumental year in my life would be a gross understatement (Bar Mitzvah, anyone?). Merely two years removed from declaring Men At Work's Business As Usual the greatest album of all time, I had found the sound that I would forever chase (listen to "Whiplash" for the perfect distillation of this sound I speak of). Metal would hold my hand through the awkward years but I had a much darker secret...
There was a point in my life where I wanted to be a filmmaker. I still might be one at some point. Who knows? If it wasn’t for my obsession with music, I might have been a textbook cinephile by now, as intrigued by new releases and upcoming film festivals as I am now about new album releases and who’s on the program at the next big music festival.
I still have a strong interest in movies, though, and the picture that got it all started for me was Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. This was the movie that not only fascinated me to no end with it’s singularly unique style (made up of entirely of, I would soon learn, styles copied from a lot of other films), but also got me interested in movies as more than just something to stare at while I stuffed my face with popcorn.
When my friends and I first heard this album, we basically had a big laugh about it. The kind of boisterous but slightly forced and nervous laugh that comes from not really knowing what you're laughing at. Little did we know we were listening to a record that would have far-reaching implications for Rap, and not just because it would become the first album in U.S. history to be declared legally obscene.