Soundz: T.S. Minton's Guides to Music...
"One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity."
"The Spirit of Radio" - Rush
"Listening for the secret, searching got the sound
But I could only hear the preacher, and the baying of his hounds."
"Unbroken Chain" - The Grateful Dead
Here's what I'm trying to accomplish with this music blog:
First, just to have fun vigorously discussing the music I love and immerse myself in, with others who have similar (ahem) refined taste; to form a community of happy bloggers blissfully confirming our own biases; and occasionally, to encounter wise guys who will challenge my assumptions (fat chance changing my preferences, but sometimes it's fun to engage educated, opposing points of view), much like I will do on these blogs, from time to time, to self-appointed sacred cows of the rock critic world like Robert Christgau and Greil Marcus; and to offer a great launching pad for lots of amazing free (and legal) streaming music.
To become less long-winded. Just kidding.
To strongly promote the concept of rock history canonization for a new generation which both benefits and suffers from the easy access to whatever fractionalized form of music strikes their fancy. The Wired Generation enjoys obvious conveniences: ipods, free downloads and streaming music, cheap CDs, satellite radio, etc. But I want to help ensure that this new crop of eager beaver music seekers won't go through life unaware of, e.g. those rare gems of rock music from past decades, which have achieved near universal critical consensus, but little commercial exposure: the melodic hippie heaven of Love's Forever Changes (1967) and the self-titled first album by Moby Grape (1967); the eponymous Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1972) ("Living Without You": the creme de la creme of non-pretentious art/jazz rock, an amazing feat); Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic (1974): twist your mind around lyrics soaked in the jaded despair of the Watergate era, immersed in virtuoso musicianship with every note and jazz-rock noodle logically calculated; Television's Marquee Moon (1977): strangled vocals of visionary punk poet Tom Verlaine and searing, ecstatic guitar duels with Richard Lloyd on the title track; and Freedy Johnston's indelible singer-songwriter workhorse Can You Fly (1992).
I owe my exposure to all of these sleeper classics to their canonization by list-making mavens like Marcus and Christgau. IMHO, you owe it to yourself to check them out if you haven't already. Of course different critics have different canons, but when music aficionados (of the styles I'm promoting on this blog) see overlaps, they should really take heed, and scramble off to their nearest CD store or go online to, say, the link below and buy 'em up ASAP...
I'd recommend you check out the following versions of "The Canon," compare notes and look for common denominators. There's a reason certain vaunted albums have caused so much fuss over the decades: they are uncategorically great. To go through life without hearing, say, Pet Sounds or London Calling would be, IMHO, a form of insanity. Yes, of course there can be intelligent differences of opinion and taste. But to muddle along without a visceral, gut-level appreciation for, say, the indisputable pillars of rock like Dylan, The Beatles, Motown, and The Clash is a reality-tunnel I do not care to visit, let alone live in. Some of my other faves like The Grateful Dead, Shawn Colvin, and Burt Bacharach are admitedly more acquired tastes -- but I still feel the same way toward their greatness, i.e. if you don't love 'em, what planet are you from??
First though, here's some links to more free music than you could stuff in your ears if you had nothing to do but listen...for the next decade. Note: Some require free registration.
Vault Radio from Wolfgangsvault.com: