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.

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.

Song Spotlight – Skyrocket – Kesang Marstrand

Okay, I had never heard of Kesang Marstrand until last night. Evidently, she has 5 albums, or at least that’s what’s available on Google Play Music.

Interestingly, I know For My Love came out in 2015, but neither Album of the Year, and the Wiki albums release page has it listed. Which they should. Had I known about it, it would have been in my top 10 last year.

Anyway, here is the single that I heard on Sirius of all places.

Song Spotlight: Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson is one of the most influential singers of his era. He was one of two artists Michael Jackson name-checked when he won his dozen odd Grammies for Thriller.

This is probably the most accessible hit he had today because it has been so recently a super-hit when it was in the soundtrack for Ghostbusters II.