It's been a big week for me--I received the shipment of CD's for my new album Held Momentarily. This is my third album--which means it's my third shipment of CD's that I've received. Each time it is an extremely fulfilling experience--to hold something tangible in your hands that started as an idea. It's pretty cool. That means it's done-done.
Well, the album part of it is done. Now comes all the other stuff.
The album will come out in January--meaning that's when I'll do the official release party, et al...and there's a lot to get done before that happens.
I filmed a conversation with my brother, Josiah, where we talked about the album. I'm editing the video now in Final Cut Pro...and learning that I like editing videos too. It's very similar to the process of recording an album actually...I hope to have that posted in the next couple of weeks.
Then I will revamp this here site in honor of the new album...and get the album ready for pre-orders on iTunes. So, have your credit cards out...or your Apple Pay...or whatever you kids are using to support struggling artists these days.
018: Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)
I do not like Bruce Springsteen's music.
Let my clarify--I have not historically liked his music. It just seems that it's geared for some other population--and I say that as a (current) resident of New Jersey. I also mean to say that without any hint of superiority...not every album is right for every person. So I just assumed that was the case with good 'ole Bruce.
Some of my resolve was chipped away earlier this year when I listened to Born In The USA (and read the 33 1/3 book). I cannot deny that Bruce is a great songwriter. He also seems to be a really nice guy.
Then I watched a documentary (entitled "Wings For Wheels") about the making of this album--which is available in-full and for free on the tubes for yous.
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It's a great documentary that really digs deep into the making of this record--and a huge turning point for Bruce and the band. I loved how it really showed what it's like to try different sounds, the adding and subtracting that happens when you record...and compares the final result to the work in progress.
This album was clearly ambitious for the young Bruce. He was shooting for Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" and he definitely achieves a dense and powerful sound throughout. The first cut they recorded, and one that set the bar for the rest of the album, Born To Run really displays this with its opening barrage.
It is yet another example of an album that for the first two listens I was resolutely like "I do not like this"...and then by the third listen, I found myself walking down the street humming Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out--a song I liked the least on the record (and now one I really do like). Something similar happened with the song Meeting Across the River. It seemed heavy-handed in its criminal imagery...but now it seems balanced and evocative.
017: Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
I clearly remember this album coming out my first year of high school. The world was changing for me--a descent into darker terrain; a perfect pairing with high school-grade angst.
I liked some of these songs...but was also scared of it to. I had a similar relationship with Pretty Hate Machine by nine inch nails.
But I never really embraced this album completely--though it was ever present in those days.
I watched the Classic Albums episode for this record, and highly recommend it. The producer, Butch Vig, said that Kurt was a huge John Lennon fan. It's one of those details that once you hear it makes perfect sense. That vocal on Lennon's Mother, where he's shredding his voice, is very compatible with Kurt's delivery on many songs here. The video also highlights how Kurt's songs were really pop songs garnered with hard hitting drums, heavy guitars, and romping bass lines.
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Listening to it now, I'm surprised by how well it holds up. I'm also intrigued by the balance that is stuck with the songs here. There are the heavier tunes--but also some with a lighter touch (Polly--although perhaps you can't call that a light touch--and Something In The Way). The latter song has my favorite lyric "it's OK to eat fish, 'cause they don't have any feelings". Many of the lyrics here make little sense--yet somehow convey the emotion any way.
It's hard to listen to this album and not think about how things ended for Kurt Cobain (much like I mentioned about Michael Jackson last week). I wonder what he'd be up to by now musically...What kind of father he would be to Frances (who is now 22). How many songs we were neglected because of his early resignation...
I was surprised to like both of these records more than I thought I would. My respect for Bruce as an artist definitely deepened this week...even if I'm not still his target demo. As for Nevermind, I was surprised by how well it held up, and how near-perfect it is, song to song. I'm also not the target demo for this album, and yet I'm right there...
016: Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (1974) 015: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? (1967)
Want to listen ahead, or see some posts you may have missed? Check out the full list of the 100 Greatest Albums here.