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LC

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Everything posted by LC

  1. PS: Like you said at the top, for all the music we know and appreciate, there's a ton more that we never got exposed to... but that might end up being "love at first listen" music. That was one of the things about my eight-year stint in music journalism—I was hearing all kinds of new things (which is how I got into World Party and 10,000 Maniacs and many others). The down side was: I was listening to so much new stuff that I didn't usually get to listen to my real favorites. So after I left and got into a different field, I rebelled against being adventurous and started listening (ad nauseam) to my favorites—Beatles, John Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, ELO, Raspberries, Elton and Billy, Maniaccs, and others. All of which is to say: It's great to explore. Our little board here is a great place for discovery. In a way, having so few members posting makes it a little easier. Seeing what artists excite you and Craig and others in our skeleton crew is ideal because at the core, we have similar tastes.
  2. Instant additions to my playlist. I like the spunk of "Make Me Smile"—an "immediate" song, if you know what I mean. "Tumbling Down" reminds me of David Bowie, a lot. I like it. I think it'll be one of those songs where, every time you listen, you hear different details you missed the first times.... Great shares!
  3. Great! Good digging, James. I humbly admit that I know almost nothing about Cockney Rebel, but based on your share here, I was reading up while listening to this song (nice and melancholy but with a certain "soaring" quality, too). There's something about violins and stings in pop music that works for me, usually (see 10,000 Maniacs and ELO threads). So, I wanna hear more. Toss a few more favorite numbers here when you have a chance. ,
  4. Oh no—loved BJ Thomas. I have two of my favorite songs of his in heavy rotation on a "favorite pop songs" playlist I made: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" (my folks both love that one) and the awesomely titled "Hey, Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song." Seriously, has there ever been a better song title than that? And the song itself is such an arresting three minutes of country-flavored pop.... Truly a classic. "It's lonely out tonight, and the feeling just got right for a brand new love song..." As James noted, BJ had a unique and great voice. RIP. :-(
  5. LC

    I wonder...

    Awesome! Very entertaining_more so than I thought it would be. Thanks!
  6. LC

    So great...

    What’s in a name? It’s so interesting to think how pivotal it may be. Just in this small group, look how “10,000 Maniacs” was a put-off. The music simply doesn’t match the implication of the name. The only reason I got into them was because the CD, press release, and interview opportunity landed on my desk. I guess I might have been a little curious because of the name, but looking back, that was more a function of my job than personal tastes. The Maniacs might have been better off going with a less threatening, less punky name. Like The Jangles. (They could have opened for The Bangles.) I wonder if people in 1963 thought “The Beatles” was a put-off of a name? Nah—it’s cute wordplay.
  7. LC

    Hall & Oates

    Hall & Oates to venture out on a tour. I might just have to see one of these shows. There are several dates that surround my little town. (James, no dates in Panama!) https://hallandoates.fanbridge.com/m/events/
  8. LC

    So great...

    That's the same vid I posted above! Regis & Kathie Lee... There's something about Mary in that clip... she's a little waifish, a bit sleepy-eyed in a sweet way, a tad nervous--and very appealing and human.... How can you not love Mary Ramsey?
  9. LC

    So great...

    I'm going to post my Maniacs rankings shortly... I"m including John & Mary and Natalie Merchant solo. You know, Raspberries are the only ones who maybe could have selected a better name (per multiple threads her). I've thought from the beginning that "10,000 Maniacs" was a strange name, a little off-putting, a little confounding. You'd think it might be a speed metal band or something like that. Even though they had success early on, I wonder if the name itself might have been a barrier—even a little—to more widespread appeal.
  10. LC

    So great...

    Back to the album Love Among the Ruins....to me, It still sounds fresh all these years later. For an established band at the time (1997), it nevertheless had the intangible appeal of a debut album by a new group — if you know what I mean. The Maniacs had taken four years to do a new record after Natalie left, but after reenlisting John and drafting sidekick Mary, they were on fire. Best tracks, for me: 1. More Than This. A perfect pop record (see above). 2. Rainy Day. There's a reason it's the opening track... Mary turns in a killer lead vocal. 3. Love Among Ruins. And there's a reason this is the title track: memorable hook, cool vibe, a fresh-voiced Mary... it's all here. 4. Green Children. Some great jangle here—Rob Buck was truly distinctive—and Mary is in great voice. For a real treat, check out this clip from Regis & Kathie Lee Show: Maniacs doing "More Than This." Mary (sans violin) almost seems a little bit nervous, in the most endearing way, but she slays the song anyway.
  11. LC

    So great...

    PS: My short overview of the band skipped a weird era—from 2002 through 2007ish, the Maniacs didn't put out any new albums but toured. However, John and Mary were absent from the lineup at the time. Not totally sure of how it happened. I think the two original members, bassist Steve Gustafson and drummer Dennis Drew, brought in a different guitarist. When John and Mary took a sabbatical, they brought in a singer named Oskar Saville from a band called Rubygrass. There's a video on YouTube of her vocal on "Trouble Me." Don't see too much about her elsewhere. She sounded even more like Natalie than Mary does, for better or for worse. But... for my money... the Mary Maniacs rank at the top.
  12. LC

    So great...

    There's a CD I rank even higher than those two—my favorite 10,000 Maniacs record. It's the first in the Mary Ramsey era, and it's called Love Among Ruins. The album caught my ear upon its release, and it has always ranked as one of my all-time favorites. The song that reeled me in is "More Than This," a beautiful cover of the Bryan Ferry song (see also Susie's thread). I've got "More Than This" on about a dozen different playlists of mine... just so it's always in heavy rotation. Ferry's original is great, but Mary brings something Bryan doesn't — those short viola augmentations and, even more arresting, her vocal "oohs" and "aahs" in the tag. You'll find a whole bunch of live performances on YouTube, and they're all worth watching. But for here, I give you the video produced for the song. Great video, where the band performs as automatons behind Mary, who's truly magnetic here. PS: That's John Lombardo in the striped "bee" shirt. The late, great guitarist is Rob Buck, brother of R.E.M.'s Peter Buck. This was this last album Rob played on; he died way too young (only 42, in 2000) of liver failure. He had such style.
  13. LC

    So great...

    I knew you'd dig that, James! I'm shocked I haven't done a 10,000 Maniacs / John & Mary list yet. I will, but for now, I'll address your question. The Maniacs hail from western NY State, and I really dig their blue-collar, indie-rock approach. Back in the late 1980s, I heard and loved their In My Tribe CD. It was around that time I got to do a phone interview with Natalie Merchant about In My Tribe. It's a landmark album—"What's the Matter Here," "Hey Jack Kerouac," "Like the Weather," the great "Don't Talk" ... and, if you get an early US pressing, a cover of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train." Shortly after that time, I was still working in music journalism and a copy of John & Mary's Victory Gardens landed on my desk. I admit I did not know it was former Maniac John Lombardo along with Mary Ramsey (future Maniac). But for some reason — the intriguing cover photo? — I picked it out of a stack and gave it a listen and was instantly drawn in, especially by these songs: • "We Have Nothing" — a rare John vocal, and a song with a very haunting and brooding yet jangly feel. • "Red Wooden Beads" — a spritely Mary vocal and grabber melody. This one is presented in a theme video, so you'll get a good look at Mary Ramsey. Throughout Victory Garden, I love Mary's violin- and viola-playing and her voice. There's something very appealing about her and her musicality and her tone and her aura. To this day. I'll add some more notes later. For now... two highlights from Victory Gardens:
  14. As much as I appreciate an enticing listicle article, this is the type that gives 'em a bad name. Tom Petty at No. 39 and Elton John at No. 23... but Black Sabbath at No. 9 and Journey at No. 6? And Bruce Springsteen nowhere in sight? Sometimes, the goal is to rile people up more than to give a sensible and defensible list.
  15. LC

    So great...

    This Time Alone I am the past and I go off alone The evening shadows settle in I close the windows, draw the curtains tight Still silver moonbeams slither in How did it end up here? How did it go so far away? How do you give up completely on a friend? It's hardest at midnight, Elvie In a room so grey and cold Time to be gone again, This time alone. Staring silent at the calm, sad moon The streetlights glistening with rain I should have known that I could only make you sad I won't be back this way again How did it end up here? How did it go so far away? How do you give up completely on a friend? It's hardest at midnight, Elvie In a room so grey and cold Time to be gone again, This time alone. Someplace in dreams we all awaken Someday everything grows clear Tonight's a night when all the angels cry I was a fool to get so near How did it end up here? How did it go so far away? How do you give up completely on a friend? It's hardest at midnight, Elvie In a room so grey and cold Time to be gone again Time to be old. *Note: I got these lyrics from a YouTube live performance. I don't get that line in the chorus that says "It's hardest at midnight, Elvie." I can only assume Elvie is the subject of the song. First couple times I heard it, I thought he was saying "midnight hour."
  16. LC

    So great...

    Here's a 2007 John & Mary song you've never heard, but if you listen once, you'll want to hear again and again. Killer melody... melancholy mood... subtle but beautiful strings, crushing lyrics. "How do you give up completely on a friend?" • John is John Lombardo, co-founder of 10,000 Maniacs, guitarist and (only occasionally) vocals for both John & Mary and Maniacs. • Mary is Mary Ramsey, normally lead vocalist and also classically trained violinist (you'll hear her playing on this song.) Mary replaced Natalie Merchant in 10,000 Maniacs in the early 1990s and continues as the "face and voice" of the band. BTW, I actually prefer the Ramsey albums to the Merchant, though I love both.
  17. LC

    Foxy Roxy...

    I haven't delved too deeply in Roxy or Ferry catalogs, but I do love—really love—"More Than This." One of my favorite songs of all time, by anybody. It was 10,000 Maniacs' version that turned me on to it... the post-Natalie Merchant lineup, featuring the classically trained indie rock sweetheart Mary Ramsey. (I love both eras of Maniacs, but if I had to choose, I'd go with the later version—there's something about Mary.) Anyway, great song that demands I investigate more Roxy Music.
  18. ...and sad goodbyes.
  19. Some day in the future, every musical act in every genre that ever released an album will be in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame... except Raspberries. Just seems like an impossibility that they'll be ever honored with a rightful induction.
  20. LC

    Kentucky Derby-gate

    Craig and Batman, excellent posts! You both make very valid and common sensical points.
  21. LC

    Kentucky Derby-gate

    Wow! There's some info most of us would miss.... I would have guessed stud fee demands were in direct correlation to racing fame and fortune. Yeah, that was a great race in '04—chills-inducing down the stretch. Especially if you had money on Smarty! (I also liked that he wore my favorite number, 15.)
  22. LC

    Kentucky Derby-gate

    https://sports.yahoo.com/kentucky-derby-what-happens-to-bets-if-medina-spirits-win-is-overturned-151729294.html “All bets will stand as settled,” said John Ewing, data analyst for BetMGM. “The race result has already been determined official and paid. Disqualifications from positive drug tests will not change the results.” So, Craig, no dice on overturning bets! Doesn't seem fair, does it?
  23. LC

    Kentucky Derby-gate

    Even though I hope Medina Spirit is cleared, I'll be honest... I'm not holding my breath. I have a good friend in NH who's a huge horse-racing guy, and he is most definitely not a fan of BB. That same friend used to host a HUGE Derby party every year—75 to 100 attendees (not easy to do in NH!). My favorite party of his was 2004. Normally, I would place a bunch of bets and lose most or all. But that year, I got lucky with a Smarty Jones bet and enjoyed a nice payday. That summer, Smarty wasn't too far from winning the Triple Crown, was he? He got the Preakness... but came in second in the Belmont.
  24. Yikes... say it isn't so, Medina Spirit! I like this horse just for the name—I was born in Medina, N.Y. Trainer Bob Baffert is saying Medina Spirit was set up with an injection of a regulated drug. He insists he'll prove there was no hanky-panky on his part. I hope he's right! (Any other horse-racing fans here?) https://sports.yahoo.com/derby-winner-medina-spirit-tests-positive-for-regulated-drug-owner-bob-baffert-says-hell-fight-it-145029344.html
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