liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Music from the Cube: What Am I Listening to Today?

Happy Tax Day to my fellow U.S. residents!

I hope you all owe less taxes than I do. (Yes, someone got whammed. I apparently don't earn enough money to take advantage of our nation's fabulous tax loopholes.)

At any rate, things were going weird on my FList page yesterday, so in case you missed it, check out yesterday's selections.

Now on to today's group.


Louis Armstrong, The Platinum Collection Rating=$$$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: Bought as a holiday present by the Parental Units.

The sound quality on this double CD collection is much, much better and encompasses 40 of Louis Armstrong's greatest hits. The only reason why there's a ratings point shaved off is simply because I wish like hell the sound quality was just a little better. It's not bad, don't get me wrong. But this is Louis we're talking about here. What I truly need is a high-quality, blow-your-socks-off recording that some of the classical music CDs have. A double-bonus in hearing Da Man today: U.S. residents are faced with the rage-inducing day that is Tax Day. If you owe megabucks like me, these tunes are the perfect antidote to what would otherwise be a rage-inducing day. (Those big ol' tax cuts Dumbya keep talking about? Those are going to people a hell of a lot richer than I am. I wouldn't mind paying if we were all paying our fair share, but we're not. Yeah, he's for the middle class. *snort* Way to piss on me and tell that it's raining, Asshole-in-Chief.)


Sorry. I must repeat the mantra: "Listen to the Louis. Listen to the Louis. He will calm frayed nerves. He will still the waters. He will sing thee to thy rest."

Dig it.

Sample Song Download CD 1: Once in a While
Sample Song Download CD 2: Dippermouth Blues

America's Sweethearts, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Rating=$$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: Freebie from my Bordersverse Daze. A not-terrible acquisition.

Inoffensive feel-good movie soundtrack blessedly free of a any Top 40 hits. Good for background listening while working, so on that count it's worth taking into the cube if you're looking musical noise that's not distracting. The last track, some musical interlude from the movie, completely bugs because it doesn't fit with the rest of the music on the CD. The opening track, Some Hearts written by that energizer bunny of lite pop Diane Warren, is amusing because I have a much older version sung by Marshall Crenshaw. As he explained to the crowd attending a live club date in Somerville, MA, what he did with the song (turned it into a boot-stomping hootenanny) resulted in a deeply unhappy Warren, who then subsequently stopped talking to him. Something tells me that this version on the soundtrack is more what ol' Di was looking for. Heh. For that amusing story alone, I dinged it an extra rating point and have dubbed the CD a keeper. However, the rest of you might hold off on buying this one unless you can get it uber-cheap in a used bin. For the sample song, I chose a slightly better singer than Kelley Levesque (the Some Hearts singer for this soundtrack) and a head-boppier tune.

Sample Song Download: Walk With Me by Clara's Star

American Dreams, Original Soundtrack 1963-1964 Rating=$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: Freebie from my Bordersverse Daze. Another not-terrible acquisition.

This one is interesting and I do have mixed feelings about it. Part of the problem is that I've never caught American Dreams on television and had zero interest in doing so. Dude, last thing I need is yet another gauzy look at the 1960s, 1950s, or even 1970s. I can't stand any fictional television show that are based "in the past." Want me to grind my teeth? Subject me to That '70s Show. The closest I came to even liking such a show was Freaks and Geeks, and even then the painful reminder of my high school daze in the 1980s forced me to shut it off. It was the only show that even came close to reality and it was too real.

So where was I?

Oh, yeah.

This soundtrack. It's a very weird one. On the one hand, we've got the original artists performing their own hits, such as Martha Reeves singing Heat Wave and the Zombies doing She's Not There. Then we have modern-day hit-makers pretending to be the original artists performing the hits. I can see it for the telvision show. The CD? Not so much. This is should have been all original artists or all impersonators. Better yet, how about a two-CD set where we the listener could compare the original artist with the impersonator? I've had loads of fun comparing Buddy Holly's Crying, Hoping, and Waiting with Marshall Crenshaw's version of the same song while he was impersonating Buddy Holly in La Bamba. I think this could've been loads of fun if we expanded the concept. Alas, it was not to be. Honestly? I'll keep it for the curiousity factor, but beyond that? Not worth it for most people. For the sample song, I was thinking I should do an impersonated song, but I'd much rather share this one, especially since this song didn't come out until 1965, yet it somehow ends up on an album that covers 1963-1964. WAY TO SCREW UP GUYS!

Sample Song Download: People Get Ready by the Impressions

Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life Rating=NONE
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: Freebie from my Bordersverse Daze. What? You don't think I'd buy this, do you?

Has anyone heard from Vonda Shepard since Ally McBeal left the air? No? I wonder why? If you need a reminder, this album is it. Her voice is not terrible, but she butchers the songs. Completely and totally. It's not a good sign when a drug-addled actor does a better job on his covers. I understand that the previous album from Ally was slightly better. God knows it couldn't be worse. I can't in good conscience subject you to Vonda (Because, really, do we need to hear her voice again? We got stuck with her as the Greek Chorus over on Ally. Enough is enough. Her 15 minutes are so very up.). I can't subject you to Robert Downey Jr., either. How about Tina Turner?

Sample Song Download: Love is Alive by Tina Turner


Read the index for previous thumbnail reviews.

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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