liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,
liz_marcs
liz_marcs

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Music From the Cube: What Am I Listing To Today?

Please post your suggestion for a charity that can help Katrina survivors with their long-term needs. (Note: I am planning to put this list up Wednesday or Thursday, so please get your suggestions in.)

People looking for the latest chapter of Acme Heartbreak Repair Kit, please go here.




Bee Gees, Their Greatest Hits: The Record (Disc One Only) Rating=$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: Free demo from my Bordersverse daze.

I've got zero clue why this reads as "Various Artists" under "Artists" and "Mijn Fovrieten" (oh hell, it that German?) under "Album" in iTunes, but I'm willing to bet that it's because it's a demo. I've got some demo CDs that read in ways that'll make you scratch your head. Oh, and I only have disc one of this two-disc collection. It was free people.

*ahem*

I don't know why, but listening to this CD cracks. me. up. It kinda reminds me of 'Listen to Me (The Flower People)' from Spinal Tap. Yes, the whooooooole CD reminds me of that one song. The giggling is pretty much non-stop. This particular disc in the collection covers the Bee Gees's musical career from 1966 to the early 70s (i.e., just at the edge of the disco explosion). The time capsule-ish nature of the selections is somewhat fascinating, as it always is when you have a group that's been around for almost 40 years. The CD starts off with the Bee Gees folk-y sounding roots (as in very 'Listen to Me (The Flower People)' giggle-giggle-giggle-giggle-*ahem*) and then progresses onward to the 1970s-style falsetto "is-that-a-man-or-a-woman" style that I remember so well from Saturday Night Fever. If you're a Bee Gees fan, you've probably already have this CD. If you have semi-fond memories of the Bee Gees when they were an Australian supergroup on top of the world, it might be an interesting purchase. The collection does appear to have their most important European and U.S. singles included in the tracks. No doubt, U.S. audiences will find some undiscovered gems that'll make it a keeper, provided you buy it from the used bin.

As for today's selections: As a loud and proud member of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I feel that I am duty-bound to offer the track 'Massachusetts.' As an interesting side note, when the Bee Gees wrote this song, not one of them had set foot in the state and knew nothing about it. They just liked the state's name and it fit the beat. Heh.

The second selection, 'I Started a Joke,' ranks as one of my all-time sadest songs ever. If I ever put together that mix CD called Signs You Need Prozac, this one is going right at the top of the list with 'Eleanor Rigby' by the Beatles. And yeah, this song really does get me right in the gut.

And finally, I had to include one signature falsetto beauty, this one 'If I Can't Have You.' It was originally a Bee Gees B-side before it was covered by Yvonne Elliman on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Strangely, I like the Bee Gees version a hell of a lot better.

Sample Song Downloads: Massachusetts, I Started a Joke, If I Can't Have You



Ben Folds, Rockin' the Suburbs Rating=$$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: Free demo from my Bordersverse daze.

We're talking no paperwork, hell, not even a proper CD label. When I say demo, I mean this CD looks like bootleg that was sold out of the trunk of someone's car. I suspect that this would please Mr. Folds.

This CD is actually a solo project for Folds, even if this does sound remarkably like a Ben Folds Five CD. It's a poppy even-tempered little number that would be perfect to listen to while it's raining outside and you're snuggled down on your couch, under a quilt, and reading a damn fine book. While it's not a terrifically exciding CD, it is a terrifically mellow CD. The singer-songwriter-piano player may be a dying breed, but Ben Folds won't go down without a fight. Lyrically speaking, the songs are clever, the tunes are catchy, and there's a subconcious head-bopping that goes along with it all. I do have to note, however, how much times change. Back in the day, Billy Joel (another singer-songwriter-piano player) was under rock. Today, Ben Folds falls under "alternative." Okay then!

Personally, I do enjoy the CD and would put it one more '$' higher. However, I also suspect that he's one of those people that I have to be in the mood to hear. I guess today I'm in the mood. All downloads below are highly recommended. However, those of you who are concerned about "work safe" MP3s should know that 'Fire' does end with a very loud "motherfucker" at the end.

Sample Song Downloads: Annie Waits, Still Fighting It, Fire

***

Read the index for previous thumbnail reviews.
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Rating system:
None = Avoid at all cost. Worth cutting your ears off to avoid if someone threatens to play it for you. When faced with even the threat of its cellophane-wrapped presence, your best option is to RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

$= If you stumble across it for cheap in a used bin, it might, maybe, perhaps could be worth the buy, but only if you need a cheap coaster for your cold drinks or a cool-looking frisbee.

$$= You might want to give this CD/artist a try, but only if the sample track tickles your fancy. Don't bother buying this one new because the good tunes you'd get out of this one ain't worth that kind of money.

$$$ = Worth looking for on a casual basis and maybe even buying new, but no big rush.

$$$$ = Definitely worth having in the ol' CD collection and definitely worth buying new, but don't re-arrange your personal "must have" list to get your hands on it.

$$$$$ = Why haven't you bought this CD yet? Go. This is a "Want. Take. Have." situation because you so want this.
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