Song Spotlight – Like Rock & Roll and Radio – Ray LaMontagne

Remember when Borders was still around, back before the corporate money people drove them into bankruptcy and non-existence? They used to have concerts at some of their stores and record them and put them on the internet. Not just little tiny acts either.

This is a great performance with Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs.

Song Spotlight: Pale Kings – Shearwater

Jet Plane and Oxbow is one of my favorite albums so far this year. It touches on the progressive rock of my teen years, while still being current and a great listen.

Pale Kings is one of my favorite tracks from the album, and I especially like the live performance from the KEXP studios here.

Song Spotlight: My Father’s Father – Civil Wars

This was the first Civil Wars song I heard. I loved it and the Civil WArs quickly became one of my favorite groups. Sadly, they fell to internal strife, as befits their name. Still, Bartons Hallow and The Civil Wars are two albums that I return to regularly.

Album Review: Settlers – Western Skies Motel

 

Settlers is the latest album by Western Skies Motel. I’m perfectly willing to admit that I’d never heard of Western Skies Motel before. And I’m willing to admit that this album is not going to be the average listener’s cup of tea, these days.

Western Skies Motel is an instrumental band. They do guitar-focused instrumental music, for the most part, though there is some synthesizer and other instrument work going on occasionally.

I have a feeling that they are going to be called New Age because they are instrumental, but, for the most part, Western Skies Motel has more in common with classical music that most New Age I’ve listened to.

Overall, this music is well composed and thematically interesting. People who are really into classical music might find it a little too sameish. There is no sort of dissonant track or jarring track that interrupts the flow of the album, which makes it great for me, good music t0 meditate to or listen to while reading or just relaxing.

Recommendation:  Give it a try Рstream it Рthough if you like instrumental guitar music, with the occasional other instrumental work, Buy it.

Tracks I have a Playlist for: The whole album

Clunkers I will Thumbs Down: Nothing.

Song Spotlight – Why You Wanna Hurt Me So Bad? – Prince

I’m not one of Prince’s big fans. I liked his radio hits, for the most part. His movies were pretty hit or miss for me. But man, could he play guitar.

Where Prince really stands out for me is that he made it okay for African Americans to be themselves – that is, if you were a weird kid, Prince made it okay to be weird. Prince wasn’t the first rock musician to traffic in androgyny, but he was the one that

Prince wasn’t the first rock musician to traffic in androgyny, but he was the one that teenagers in the 80s recognized (Bowie was great, but he was also in his Blue Jean period by that time, and the average teen wasn’t that curious about music history).

Anyway, this is probably my favorite Prince song. It’s certainly where we start seeing him bring funk and rock together to forge his way into the ground-breaking career he had.