It is refreshing to see bands and musicians that came into the music scene during my teenage years continue to remain musically relevant after all of these years, especially when those same idols from my misspent youth can still Rock.
The Foo Fighters have been a big part of my life’s soundtrack. The mid to late 90s was a vibrant time for Rock music. In the 90s, bands like Foo Fighters, Oasis, Green Day, The Verve, Bush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead, and Korn put out some of my all-time favorite albums. Admittedly and proudly, I still listen to those albums frequently.
This is why I’m beyond static to see how well Foo Fighters, the Band, is aging. Dave Grohl’s voice remains virtually intact in terms of energy and power — and the band, as a collective unit, continues to evolve while at the same time still making creative and impactful music.
Medicine At Midnight is Foo Fighters’ 10th studio album; It was completed in early 2020, and they were supposed to go on tour during the summer of the same year, but we all know what happened….
It took me about 3 to 4 listens, and I was all in.
I love this album from start to finish; It is the shortest and fastest full-length studio album in the entire Foo Fighters discography; it’s a quick listen — I really dig the short length of it, just 9 tracks and coming in at 37 minutes. Somewhat similar to Green Day’s 2020 Father of All Motherfuckers (10 tracks, 26 minutes).
Medicine At Midnight was supposed to be their version of Bowie’s Lets Dance album — and although this is supposed to be a dance, party album, and somewhat of a departure from the Foo Fighters sound we all know and love, it still feels very much like a Foo Fighters album. It is fun, groovy, and energetic with plenty of 80s Rock dance vibes. I liked how all those elements blended well with the unique sound of the Foo. I think this will be a perfect album for future live shows — if I ever get to go to live shows again.
In general, this is an excellent Rock album — there is no doubt that I’ll be spinning Medicine At Midnight on my turntable at home for the foreseeable future. Additionally, this album has constantly been streaming on my Apple Music during my Subway work commute this year.
Here is my track by track breakdown…
1 — MAKING A FIRE:
This opening track sets the party mood of this album — It starts with lots of firepower. The energetic background vocals are great, which tells you that this is a different type of album.
2 — SHAME SHAME:
First single. It feels like an experimental track that actually works well as a first single.
3 — CLOUDSPOTTER:
Fun track, no idea what a Cloudspotter is, but this song grew on me after a few listening sessions, and I really like the chorus. It is a classic Foo Fighter-sounding type of song.
4 — WAITING ON A WAR:
Upon first listen, I was not much into it; however, it has grown on me. Solid vocals.
5 — MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT:
Title track, full of David Bowie vibes — good beat, and probably my favorite track from this album. Refreshing, fun, and the most danceable beat from the entire record.
6 — NO SON OF MINE:
I heard that this track was a tribute to the late Lemmy from Motorhead. I Love the tempo; it is definitely a head-banging song.
7 — HOLDING POISON:
The intro rocks pretty hard, and it just keeps up the pace from thereon.
8 — CHASING BIRDS:
I fucking love this track. It is by far the most mellow song here. It is the lone ballad of this album. I think that every great record should include a ballad.
9 — LOVE DIES YOUNG:
Interesting how this song is full of sad lyrics but with an upbeat tempo. It brilliantly wraps up the whole dance/rock concept, blending most of those elements from the entire album into this final track.
The partnership between Draco Rosa and Bob Ludwig continues with this double LP remastered edition of the highly successful 2004 album Mad Love. This is the second collaboration between Ludwig and Draco. Bob Ludwig also did the 2018 remastered version of Vagabundo.
Mad Love is an album that I continuously revisit multiple times a year. And truth be told, this is not merely an album that I like or enjoy; it is an album that I love — It defined an era of my personal life that I often look back with longing, nostalgia, and lots of fondness.
I bought Mad Love on CD back in 2004, the same week of its release at the now-defunct Borders Books & Music store in Baileys Crossroads, Virginia. It knocked my socks off almost immediately upon listening to it for the first time — it has been 16 years since that fateful evening in May of ’04 when browsing through the new release CD bins I happen to find Mad Love just sitting there waiting for me — I bought it, rushed home to play it, and fell in love with the entire album.
Even after all these years, this album still comes across as a passionate musical masterpiece. Draco was inspired by Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew (1970), an epic record that blended Rock and Jazz beautifully. Draco stated that he drove up and down the West Coast of the United States listening to Bitches Brew as he prepared to record Mad Love, and it is beyond noticeable the influence of Bitches Brew as you listen to Mad Love.
The critics gave it positive and glowing reviews when it came out. But it wasn’t the gringo crossover hit that it should’ve been. It was a massive hit in Latin America, and it was pretty successful in Europe as well. However, in the United States, it was categorized and considered as a Latin album, never mind that the album had only 3 songs in Spanish and 13 songs in English. Music media outlets boxed this album in as a non-English album; A complete travesty. Mad Love was the farthest thing from a conventional Latin album, especially when you look back to the kind of music coming out in those days in the Spanish language market. The music videos from Mad Love were excellent, but they got zero airplay on MTV or VHI. In those days, MTV and VHI were still playing music videos regularly and had not become what they are now. Music has changed a lot since then.
Maybe the record label (Sony) did not feel the need to promote this album as a mainstream release. I don’t know what really went down or how they viewed the marketability of this record. Still, the fact remains that this album was poorly promoted and poorly marketed when it was initially released back in 2004.
I’m assuming that everyone who would be reading this blog knows already that Draco Rosa wrote most of Ricky Martin hits like; Livin’ la Vida Loca, Maria, the cup of life, She Bangs, etc. So it is clear that Draco can write pop hits for himself if he wanted to but chooses not to pursue that route. Instead, he has focused on creating meaningful and profound music. There is a peculiar edginess to Dracos’ music that you can’t find anywhere else in Spanish language music. Whether that edge comes from deep personal emotions or willingness to be vulnerable, or perhaps Draco merely explores new avenues of musical expression. The fact remains that there are only a handful of Spanish language musicians out there who can match or come close to Draco Rosa.
The first concert I attended after my mother passed away was Draco’s concert at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, about 6 months after my mother’s death. It was for “Lo Sagrado y Lo Maldito tour.” I enjoyed the show, but I was still in bad shape emotionally and overwhelmed by grief to fully appreciate the show. It took a lot of strength for me put myself together and make the concert. It was also the last concert I attended in the DC area before moving to New York City for good.
As a rabid record collector and the analog head that I consider myself to be, I was beyond static about the possibility of having a vinyl version of Mad Love finally available. This is a gorgeous-looking LP; it is pink (Rosa), and the artwork is exquisite. I don’t mind buying a non-analog LP — especially if I’m a fan of the artist or band. There is a novelty aspect to this new resurgence of Vinyl. Mostly with regards to albums that were initially recorded digitally, released on CD, and then remastered and transferred to Vinyl. These types of re-releases are a collector’s dream.
I’m not going to go on a track-by-track breakdown of this album because it is one of those conceptual records that you just have to immerse yourself fully. And you have to allow the music’s quality to take you on a poetic, sensual, and at times turbulent musical journey, which is what listening to Mad Love is all about.
After a 4-year recording absence, GREEN DAY is back with FATHER OF ALL MOTHERFUCKERS….This is their 13th album, and it is somewhat a weird album to describe; It is full of GREEN DAY energy; it feels more like a party rock album with some garage rock vibes; there are hints of glam, soul, and of course, punk. But at the same time, it feels like a retro type of album, with sprinkles of 50s swing to it.
I guess you can say that it is an alternative punk-pop album.
It is not an overly political album like their previous work — at first, I did not get any political vibes from it. However, after a few listening sessions, I noticed that some subtle political messages are masquerading throughout this album.
I think, FATHER OF ALL is the most upbeat album GREEN DAY has ever released; the record is 26 minutes long, the shortest album ever made by Green Day — which is great, ’cause I’m a fan of fast, under 30-minute album formats.
Billy Joel Armstrong’s voice is so unique and iconic, and it comes across sounding pretty great here. His falsettos were good — and a bold thing to attempt at this stage of his recording career. The bass and drums are always excellent on every GREEN DAY album, and they are excellent here also.
I have some theories about why this album feels a bit experimental. This was supposed to be their last album under Warner Bros, and I think they waited 4 years to release a final album to fulfilled their contract and get it over with. If that was the case, I dig it, and I applaud them. This not a bad album, but it is definitely not their best. Keeping an open mind is crucial to enjoying this album thoroughly.
FATHER OF ALL MOTHERFUCKERS is worth checking out; stream it if you can, and if you are a hardcore GREEN DAY fan, definitely get the LP.
TRACK 1-FATHER OF ALL: First single, kick-ass track, the bass and drums are awesome
TRACK 2-FIRE, READY, AIM: Lots of piano.
TRACK 3-OH YEAH!: Is a straight-up pop-rock song
TRACK 4-MEET ME ON THE ROOF: It has a 50s swing vibe. It starts as an alt-rock song and morphed into a swing track.
TRACK 5-I WAS A TEENAGE TEENAGER: it is a catchy ballad
TRACK 6-STAB YOU IN THE HEART: It has some punk and 50s influences and some swing vibes.
TRACK 7-SUGAR YOUTH: It is the most punk song in the album…sounds like old GREEN DAY
TRACK 8-JUNKIES ON A HIGH: This is my favorite track, and it is the second-longest song in the album, could’ve been a single
TRACK 9-TAKE THE MONEY AND CRAWL: Edgy lyrics with weird sound effects
TRACK 10- GRAFFITIA: I really liked this track, and it felt like an appropriate song to bring this fun party rock album to a close.
It blows my mind to think that this year (2020) is the 50th anniversary of Abraxas by Santana. Man, 50 years is half a century, and that is a long-ass time.
I remember when I was a kid that my father had a Santana LP in his Vinyl collection, which from what I recall, was a pretty extensive record collection. I’m not sure which Santana album he had, or if he had more than one LP — all I remember is that the artwork was pretty awesome. I would say that I was somewhat familiar with Santana and a few of his songs here and there, but I never really paid attention to him until my late teens.
It was the summer of 1999, and Carlos Santana had his big comeback album Supernatural — An album featuring guest artists and a few instrumental tracks; It was a massive worldwide hit — It dominated radio airplay. It swept most of the music awards that year, including the Grammys. The entire album is pure summer magic for me; the music still feels very much relevant today, and it brings me back to a time in my life that I often look back with fondness. Supernatural ended up opening my eyes and my curiosity towards Santana’s discography.
As I researched their discography, I went all the way back to the genesis of the band and their first self-titled album released in 1969 to get a better sense of Santana’s music; however, it wasn’t until I discovered their second album; Abraxas, that my admiration for Santana was firmly cemented.
In one of my many visits to the DC area, I was at Smash records in Adams Morgan when flipping through the classic rock section; I came across a pristine first US pressing of Abraxas, which included an original Santana Poster. It was a no brainer for me, and I went ahead and bought it. It wasn’t too expensive, but it wasn’t cheap also, and I was ecstatic to finally own Abraxas on vinyl to pair it with my LP copy of Santana III.
Recorded between April and May of 1970 and Released on September 23, 1970, Abraxas was Santana’s second studio album, but their first album to reach #1 in the US. The album’s title is inspired by a passage from Hermann Hesse’s book Demian and the album cover art is from a painting by Mati Klarwein.
The album was a game-changer in the world of music, and it became a highly influential album to generations of musicians thereafter. There is a unique rawness to this album, mostly because there was nobody else from that era that sounded like Santana. Abraxas is the ultimate communion between Afro-Latino music, Blues, Jazz, and Rock. It has been 50 years since this album came out, and it still holds strong as one of the best and most impactful albums of all time.
1.Singing Winds, Crying Beasts (instrumental): Drums, keyboards, electric guitar; I love this intro track, it sets the mood for the whole album, and it gets me going every time I play it.
2.Black Magic Woman: The opening drums setting up the guitar is perfect. It is sensual and hypnotic; this track is simply out of this world.
3.Oye Como Va: This song created an entirely new genre of music in the Spanish speaking Mundo. Oye Como Va was an original 1963 Mambo composition by Tito Puente; It is important to note that traditional Latin bands of that era were initially outraged by the idea of their music being covered by Rock bands. And initially, Tito Puente was not very supportive of the idea but came around to Santana’s version of Oye Como Va after the song and album became a hit. If this track doesn’t compel you to move and dance, then you probably have no soul.
4.Incident at Neshabur (Instrumental): This track is a rollercoaster of sounds and a clear example of the high level of skillfulness from the band.
5.Se a Cabo: Written by percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas. This track has a Salsa vibe mixed with some intense electric guitar.
6.Mothers daughters: This is probably the least Afro-Latino influenced track of this album. It is more of a traditional Rock piece that shows the versatility of the band.
7.Samba Pa Ti (Instrumental): The story behind the inspiration of this song is legendary. This is the sexiest track of this album; it is smooth, elegant, and beautiful.
8.Hope You’re feeling Better: The solo riffs are powerful, and Greg Rollie’s singing is outstanding. This track is pure late 60s early 70s Rock and Roll.
9.El Nicoya: Another contribution by “Chepito.” The track is short but sweet; it is a groovy way to brings this spellbinding album to a close.
El Ultimo Vuelo del Hombre Bala es el mas reciente lanzamiento musical de Mikel Erentxun. Ya le di varias escuchadas completas a este album y me parece que es uno de los mejores discos que Erentxun ha creado en su larga y extensa carrera discográfica.
Este album es la conclusion a la trilogía de discos que Mikel empezó en el 2015 con el lanzamiento de Corazones junto a Paco Loco, quien se a convertido en su productor principal en estos tres recientes discos–junto con John Agnello, quien ha sido el ingeniero musical encargado del sonido de toda esta trilogía. Los tres discos fueron grabados en el estudio de Paco Loco utilizando instrumentos y cintas de grabación analógicas, y masterizados en Sterling Sound de NYC. La consistencia de estas colaboraciones han dado resultados excelentes al nivel artístico y creativo en esta etapa de la carrera musical de Mikel.
En los primeros diecinueve años de este siglo, Erentxun a creado discos importantes con un sonido diverso y una personalidad peculiar en cada uno de ellos. Cada uno de estos discos tienen un lugar especial en mi lista personal de lo mejor del rock en Español en lo que va de este nuevo siglo. Discos como: Te Dejas Ver (2000), Ciudades de Paso (2003), El Corredor de la Suerte (2006), Detalle del Miedo (2010) y 24 Golpes (2012).
Pero Corazones (2015) es sin lugar a dudas mi favorito de todos los discos de Erentxun. Fue un disco que marco una etapa importante en mi vida personal y fue como un soundtrack a la montaña rusa de emociones y cambios que ocurrieron en mi vida entre el 2015 al 2017. Es uno de esos discos que no pasan de moda y no me canso de escucharlo. Especialmente canciones como Dakota y Yo, El Ultimo Vals, Viento Errante, Corazon y Huesos, Un Corazon Llamado Muerte, Los Muros de Jerusalen, Veneno y Corazon, Con El Tiempo a Favor, Tu…en fin, todo el disco es increíble.
El Hombre sin Sombra (2017), fue el segundo disco de esta colaboración entre Mikel, Paco loco y John Agnello. Este fue otro gran album, y una excelente sequela a Corazones. La participacion de Maika Makovski en la mayoría de las canciones le dan un toque Leonard Cohen a este disco. Canciones como Llamas de Hielo, Héroe, Libélulas, Cicatrices, Y sin embargo te quiero, Tienes que ser tu, El amor te muerde los labios al besar, El Principio del final etc, son parte de la constante rotación de canciones en mi playlist titulada “Favorite tracks Erentxun.”
El Ultimo Vuelo del Hombre Bala es un super discazo, se parece un poco mas en cuestión de sonido a Corazones y a Corazon Salvaje EP pero mucho mas eléctrico que los anteriores discos, ya que en este nuevo album no se utilizo ni una sola guitarra acústica. También cuenta con la compañia de Marina Iñesta en los coros. Marina es vocalista de la excelente banda indie Repion, y su voz le da un toque perfecto a las canciones en las que participa.
Este album empieza con 25 segundos de arpa que da un opening a la canción Tu amor es un nudo (Track 1).Muchacha de ojos tristes (Track 2) se a convertido en una de mis favoritas, ese beat electrico me cautivo inmediatamente. Circulos (Track 3) difinitivamente se convertira en una de las clasicas del repertorio de Mikel, noto las influencias Lloyd Cole y The Smiths pero con ese toque Erentxun inconfundible. Dejalo Estar (Track 4) nos conecta directamenta con la cancion Jugando con el tiempo del disco Naufragios (1992). Gigante (Track 5) es una rock balada poderosa cargada de letras intensas donde escuchamos referencias a su pequeño rockanrol de 24 Golpes.
Tiempo de descuento (track6) es pura electricidad. Animales Heridos (Track 7) es la primera vez que Mikel nos entrega un tema socio-politico, con un aire a Duncan Dhu. Es refrescante y bienvenido este lado de Mikel el cual no es comunmente visto en sus canciones, este es un track super corto pero directo al punto. Amor Circular (Track 8) es un poco mas up-tempo y electrico, similar a al track 3. La Vereda (Track 9) fue el primer single y es posiblemente la mas comercial y “radio friendly” del album. Donde estas tu ahora estoy yo (Track 10) esta es definitivamente una de mis favoritas, en la cual tenemos referencia directa al titulo de este album. Tengo ganas de ti (Track 11) otra balada rock que encaja muy bien con el resto del album. Angel en llamas (Track12) Los coros y los drums son los protagonistas de este track. Corazon de mil inviernos (Track 13) Es problamente mi favorita, y siento que es la mejor forma de concluir esta trilogia.
Me pase todo este fin de semana escuchando este discazo, una y otra vez, caminando por las calles gastadas de Brooklyn (un guiño a Mañana de ciudades de paso). Aunque solo en version digital ya que todavia no lo tengo en formato LP. El vinilo recien estara disponible en Estados Unidos el 17 de Mayo. Asi que la ansiedad por escucharlo en mi recientemente adquirido tocadiscos Technics SL-QD33 sera un tremendo placer.
Y bueno, pienso que esta trilogía de discos con el paso del tiempo envejecerán super bien, ya que la calidad de letras, la excelente calidad del sonido y la genialidad en el concepto de cada uno de estos discos formaran parte de lo mejor de lo mejor que se ha producido en la historia del rock en Español.
In 1996, Draco Rosa released the album Vagabundo which I still consider to be the most essential record made in the entire decade of the 1990s within the Rock en Español music scene. Indeed, other musicians/bands made important contributions to Spanish Rock, like Andres Calamaro (Alta Suciedad, 1997 & Honestidad Brutal, 1999), Caifanes (El Diablito, 1990, El Silencio, 1992 & El Nervio del Volcan, 1994), Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (Rey Azúcar, 1995 & Fabulosos Calavera, 1997), Enanitos Verdes (Big Bang, 1994 & Nectar, 1999), Jaguares (El Equilibrio de Los Jaguares, 1996 & Bajo El Azul de Tu Misterio, 1999), La Ley (Invisible, 1995). All of those albums are essential and iconic records, But Draco Rosa’s Vagabundo was in a league of its own.
Vagabundo was utterly different from everything else coming out into the Spanish Rock market during the ’90s, and nothing else sounded quite like it. The album was a rollercoaster ride of psychedelic rock, wrapped in raw melodies of love, solitude, desolation, and melancholy. The album was recorded in England and produced by Phil Manzanera, who by that time had already collaborated with other Rock en Español artists like Fito Paez (Circo beat, 1994), Heroes del Silencio (Senderos de Traicion, 1990 & El Espirito del Vino, 1993) as well as Aterciopelados (La Pipa de la Paz, 1996) and with the late Antonio Vega (Océano de Sol, 1994). Phil Manzanera understands the soul of rock en Español music, and it clearly shows in the records that he has produced.
After 22 years since the release of Vagabundo, we finally have a remastered version and a limited release vinyl LP. It was remastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig (U2, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Nirvana, Paul McCarney). This is truly a unique and special release — additionally, this newly remastered edition takes it to another level.
Here is a quick rundown of all the tracks on the album:
Hablando del Amor: Not really a song, just an intro track. You get the sense of where the record is taking you; you can hear sounds of a forest in the background followed by some poetic lines.
Madre Tierra: This is an excellent rock song, guitars, drums, and Draco’s powerful voice turn this song into a beautiful, fast tempo rock anthem.
Llanto Subterráneo: This track is a beautiful poem wrapped in melody. Slower tempo than the previous track, but the song still maintains a powerful rock vibe with some dark undertones and very intense lyrics.
Vagabundo: This is a more acoustic sounding track, where all you get is guitar, Draco’s voice, and some background vocals. The lyrics are powerful, intense, and there is a touch of occult undertones in the meaning of the lyrics here.
Penelope: This song reminds me of Joan Manuel Serrat’s “Penelope,” but told from a different point of view; while Serrat’s Penelope was told from the point of view of a narrator, this song is told from the point of view of the traveler longing for the love he left behind. This is a beautiful song, one of my favorites.
Delirios: Here, we go back to a faster-paced tempo, more massive sound. Draco displays his great rocker frontman talent while at the same time keeping up with some powerful guitar and drums.
Para No Olvidar: Death, life, and desolation are the themes of this track. It starts slow, setting up the psychedelic mood with a sweet melody; we go from slow to fast and heavy multiple times. This is an intense song.
Blanca Mujer: The closest thing to a rock ballad in this entire album. Piano and guitar in the background create a compelling and persuasive companion to Draco’s voice. I consider this song a classic in Draco Rosa’s catalog.
Vertigo: Another dark and psychedelic sounding track shows a feeling of rawness and heaviness in Draco’s voice that works beautifully on this song.
Vivir: Probably the most personal track on this album. It starts with a piano intro that feels straight out of a carnival stage show or circus, then the song takes on the first-person narrative, stating Draco’s journey from Popstar to freeing himself from the shackles of stardom and into becoming the artist he longs to be.
Brujería: A mix of psychedelic and gothic vibe give this track a unique sound and energy. Draco’s furious intensity makes this track one of the very best on this album. The guitars are also superb.
La Flor del Frio: This is a raw sounding track that works beautifully as a change of pace from the rest of the album. A piano accompanies Draco. There is a crowd of people talking and clapping in the background, which gives this track a unique feel and vibe. The raw and melancholic melody is the star of this song.
Amantes Hasta el Fin: This song sums up the theme of this album perfectly. It has it all; a beautiful melody, lyrics of love, desolation, death, and despair. Draco’s singing takes you on a ride from a mellow vibe to furious rage. The entire surrealism of the album is best displayed here.
Vertigo22: This track is a gem straight from Vagabundo’s recording studio archives. It is raw, powerful, and heavier than the album version. The song sounds completely different.
Madre Tierra22: This version of Madre Tierra sounds more like a demo, and at the same time, it has a raw and organic feel to it than the album version. Another gem from the PHVX Vault.
In the 90s, U2 made a trilogy of highly experimental albums. The first of the three: Achtung Baby(1991), is considered a masterpiece and perhaps their most significant musical achievement since The Joshua Tree (1987).
Their second release in the 1990s: Zooropa (1993), was their most experimental album, not only of the 90s but of their entire musical career.
The third and final release of their 90s trilogy of albums — was the album: POP (1997), which was their most commercially unsuccessful album, and their most ambitious ever. Nevertheless, in my opinion, POP is, without a doubt, one of U2’s best albums of all time.
POP came out during a time when I was exploring electronica, a time when I was listening to a lot of music by Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, and The Chemical Brothers, just to name a few — and needles to say, I was drawn to this album from the first time I listened to it.
It’s been twenty years since this album was released, and it’s been twenty years since I been consistently listening to this album…. I’m pretty sure I play it once a month or bi-monthly.
Bono was quoted saying that the album “begins at a party (discotheque) and ends at a funeral (wake up dead man),” which is a pretty accurate way to describe the mood of this album. POP initially got positive reviews from critics, while other critics did not “get it,” for some, it relied too heavily on electronic influences. In contrast, others felt there was too much “religion” on most of the songs.
Regardless of the criticism, this album showed us just how ahead of their time U2 was, even way back in the 1990s; they were using sampling, sequencer software, loops, and a few other sound techniques, which are now part of the norm in today’s music scene.
This past summer of 2018, U2 finally released POP on vinyl double LP format, and obviously, I had to get it. What a treat it is to listen to this record on vinyl finally, and I still find it to be as deep, profound, and remarkable as I did in the 90s — it is a kick-ass record. So do yourself a favor, and listen to it.
1.Discotheque: Funky, techno dance vibes dominate this track. Edge’s guitar solo is my favorite part of this track, where an effects pedal is used, which is a device that creates a distorted sound.
2. Do You Feel Loved: One of my favorite tracks on this record, it uses many electronic elements throughout the song, it has a nice techno beat.
3.MOFO: This is probably the most techno heavy song on this entire album. It wasn’t one of my favorite tracks when I first listened to this album back in the late ’90s. However, it is one of those songs that grow on you with time, and it has become one of my favorite tracks from this record. Bono wrote this song as a way to deal with his mother’s passing.
4.If God Would Send His Angels: This is a beautifully performed electronic ballad; Bono’s voice comes across like a crooner wrapped in a techno melody, while at the same time the lyrics provide a view of the state of our world from the point of view of a religiously devoted person. In any case, I feel as though the lyrics made sense then, just as they make sense now.
5. Staring At The Sun: This song reminds me of Oasis a bit, with a techno touch. It was the second single from this album. It was probably the most radio-friendly track from this record. I wasn’t much into this song at first, but in time it has also grown into one of my favorites.
6.Last Night On Earth: Another funky techno song, along with the lines of the first three tracks. It has more of a stadium rock feel to it than the previous tracks. It became one of my favorites from the moment I first listened to it.
7.Gone: Probably my favorite track from this record. It is the perfect blend of rock, techno, funky drums, and bass. Also, the lyrics are on point here. I’m regularly playing this track on my U2 playlist.
8.Miami: My least favorite track from this album, it was probably their most experimental song, and definitely not one of my favorites, but the boldness and courageous attempt to create something original is highly appreciated.
9.The Playboy Mansion: This song has a nice mellow feel, and loops are utilized all over this track. The lyrics are basically a rundown of pop culture and celebrity life in the ’90s.
10.If You Wear That Velvet Dress: Larry Mullen’s drums paired with some keyboards set the mood for this track. It is full of dark tones, and Bono’s melodic delivery gives this track a unique sound and feel. Definitely one of the best songs on this record.
11. Please: Drums take center stage once again on this track; there is also a delicate balance of guitar and bass on this song. Bono’s lyrics have political/religious undertones that fit perfectly with the entire album’s central thesis.
12. Wake Up Dead Man: This track feels like a follow to up “if God Would Send His Angels” (Track 4). It is all about Jesus returning and making sense of all the nonsense going on in our world. The lyrics are a direct appeal to Jesus to return. It is definitely the darkest song on this record, there is a bit of sampling going on here, and it works excellently. This song works great as a final track to complement the overall theme of this album.
Mis referencias musicales están muy claras y definidas, si te pones a conversar de música conmigo, inmediatamente salen Pink Floyd, The Doors, U2, Oasis, Rod Stewart, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Roy Orbison, Bowie, The Smiths etc etc etc. Pero si nos ponemos a conversar del rock en Español, mis referencias principales son Soda Stereo, Bunbury, Mikel Erentxun, Caifanes, Jaguares, Calamaro, Draco Rosa, Los Cadillacs, La Ley, Sabina etc etc.
Para mi no existe ningún otro genero musical que exprese mejor el poder y la belleza del idioma de Cervantes que el rock en Español. En estos momentos estamos atravesando una etapa de música en Español de la mierda, todo lo que suena en la radio es basura. Vivimos en una época de consumo rápido, ya casi nadie compra discos completos, la gente escuchan música en sus teléfonos, utilizando mayormente Pandora, Spotify, incluso hasta en YouTube. En cierta forma los playlist de Spotify se están convirtiendo en algo mas importante que los discos. Pienso que la forma de consumir musica en forma streaming es temporal, en el sentido que en menos de un mes ya se olvidaron de la canción, del artista, la banda y del playlist.
El streaming esta tomando mas fuerza últimamente, especialmente por su fácil accesibilidad. Spotify por ejemplo te ofrece una subscripción similar a Netflix, con la cual puedes escuchar toda la música que gustes sin limites, y también puedes escuchar música offline. Pero la gran diferencia es que por lo menos con iTunes puedes descargar un album completo y puedes en cierta forma ser propietario de algo físico, algo que puedes convertir en un MP3 y transferir a multiples ordenadores o móviles.
En cambio la idea de tener mi musica guardada remotamente en un cloud cibernetico me causa ansiedad. Quizás por que tengo una forma purista de consumir música. Por ejemplo el mas reciente album de U2 Songs of Experience me hubiera sido imposible escucharlo por streaming. Un disco tan esperado se disfruta mejor cuando le quitas el plástico de envoltura, lo especial que se siente al sacar el disco de su funda, de poder tenerlo en tus manos, de poder oler ese aroma a disco nuevo, y tambien poder apreciar el “Artwork” que incluyen la mayoría de los discos. El mismo día que el disco de U2 salio a la venta, yo fui a la tienda y compre el album en formato Vinilo, el cual incluye una opción para poder descargar la version MP3 con un código especial incluido en el album. Esa es una manera excelente de motivar a los fanáticos de la buena música como yo para seguir comprando discos.
Lo mas preocupante para mi es que el rock en Español es uno de los géneros mas afectados por toda esta nueva forma de consumir música, por un lado lo mas positivo es que muchos artistas y bandas no muy conocidas, especialmente los del movimiento Indie en Español pueden llegar a ser apreciados un poco mejor, ya que estarían mas accesible a ser escuchados por primera vez a traves de las plataformas de streaming. Lo negativo es que esa es la única forma mas efectiva de poder escucharlos, ya que las estaciones de radio no les dan la atención necesaria, y peor aun iTunes, en su lista de “nuevos lanzamientos” solo promueven géneros urbanos, música basura sin alma, ni esencia. Si estoy buscando el nuevo disco de Carlos Ann, Christina Rosevinge o Diego Vasallo tengo que hacer un search/busqueda especifica para poder encontrarlos en iTunes.
Hay muy poca apreciación hacia los discos hechos con buena lírica, buen sonido, con instrumentos reales. Yo aprecio mucho los discos de rock con base de guitarra, no hay nada mas cautivador que un disco donde la guitarra y la batería están sonando a full, esos discos son my dificiles de olvidar, o dejar a un lado. Discos que inspiran sentimientos, sensibilidad, intensidad etc, son discos inolvidables, no solo por la música sino también por las buenas letras.
Con el paso de los años me he dado cuenta que me gusta mucho lo antiguo. Lo mío es lo analógico, el sonido de antes, los vinilos. Discos grabados como se grababan antes, preparados para escuchar en vinilos. No estoy diciendo que sean mejor, sólo que a mi parecer, a mi gusto personal suenan distinto. El formato analógico es mucho mas complejo que el digital, aunque el formato digital arregle un poco mas la calidad del sonido grabado, en cambio el vinilo te ofrece un sonido mas orgánico, mas directo, con una calidad mas nítida para el oido humano. Pero bueno, en fin, mi propósito es que muy pronto en mi casa los cajones con vinilos ocupen más espacio, que los fucking CD’s, y seguiré utilizando a Spotify y las demas plataformas de streaming como una herramienta para encontrar, escuchar y descubrir nuevas bandas y musicos del mundo rock en Español y del rock indie.
I went from collecting CDs to collecting Vinyl records, which is somewhat ironic because listening to music on vinyl is how I was introduced to music growing up. When I was a kid, compact discs (CDs) did not yet exist, or at least around my immediate surroundings. And by the time I was old enough to purchase music on my own, with my own money, vinyl records were no longer easy to find, especially in music stores.
I guess you can say that I grew up around a time where the intersection of analog and digital was beginning to take place.
It was the 90s, and now CDs ruled the music world. CD players had entirely replaced turntables in just about every music store around the United States.
The Discman had replaced the Walkman as the primary listening device, and playing music on cassettes was somewhat considered uncool, or at least it was considered uncool by all my knucklehead middle and high school friends.
Music was now digital, which made CDs seem a lot more practical — mainly ’cause they now took up much less space in your home. Records, on the other hand, tend to take up more space, and they are pretty hard to take on the road with you — Now it was possible and easy to take your CD collection with you anywhere rather quickly. And you could even play your CDs in your car. It was a pretty fucking revolutionary idea — for the first time in modern history, people were able to carry their music with them anywhere they wanted. And we were only a few years away from CD burners, which provided us with the ability to create personalized CD playlists, which would eventually become a modern version of the cassette mixtape.
The other day I was going through my CD collection and noticed that in the last eight years, I bought less than 10 CDs, but on the other hand, in the same period of time, I purchased over 30 albums on iTunes. Albums that in the past, I would have totally purchased at a music shop.
When I was a teenager, I bought CDs just about every single week with my minimum wage weekly paycheck. I went on this weird, ritualistic “music store tour” every single week right after payday — making pit stops in-between three or four stores that carried a diverse selection of music. There was Sam Goody in Pentagon City mall, (It is now the clothing store Express). They had an excellent selection of cheap single promotional CDs, new arrivals, and a robust Rock En Español selection…. I bought some of my favorite Rock En Español albums there.
Record Town in Ballston Mall was another great music store — It was located on the top floor where the Arcade and the Regal movie theater are currently located; I remember Record Town employee Oscar, who also worked nights as a club DJ. He was very friendly and approachable… Eventually, Record Town became FYE, and they relocated to the second floor to a more prominent spot. Last time I was in town visiting, I saw Oscar still working there, as I walked by the store. I was happy to see him still working there after all these years — however I wasn’t in the mood to go in and say hello.
Best Buy in Pentagon City was also a great spot, especially if you were short on funds — their CDs were always cheaper than most music stores, and their music department was huge (now it is almost non-existent). There was also Tower Records, right off Seminary Road in Alexandria, VA. It was located in the same strip mall where Bally’s Total Fitness used to be, (it became LA Fitness).
For me, every single week visiting all those music shops was like a type of ritualistic affair. Sometimes I would hear a song on the radio, and I would feel compelled to listen to the whole album. My constant craving for good music kept me consistently buying albums from unknown musicians/bands. I would buy singles, radio edits, remixes. Buying albums and singles became such a vital part of my life — I would hurry back home and fully immerse myself in my ritualistic listening sessions. Those were some pretty intense sessions of musical discovery.
When my mother passed away, I was overcome by a powerful force to recapture certain things from my past, things that in a weird way reminded me of my time around her. Even though she was not a music collector like me, she never discouraged my obsessive-compulsive music-buying ways. She enjoyed having me at home engulfed in my semi-ritualistic listening sessions in my room rather than having me out in the streets getting into trouble, which I had a bit of a talent for (but that is a different story, for a different time).
So after a few months of deep grieving, I felt compelled to give myself something to obsess over again, like I did when I was younger with my music. Something that would help ease the pain, and occupy my mind, so I decided to use some of the money that she left behind for me to purchase a turntable and to go back to those analog days. To start collecting music again, to start collecting LPs, especially old LPs of classic rock , vintage editions of classic records. The older, the better. Used albums, first pressings, and some reprints here and there.
Vinyl records have recently become more popular, and that is a good thing. In the four years since I started collecting Vinyl — I have found gem after gem, mostly by visiting used record shops, and taking my sweet time flipping through crates of records. Not to mention my recent realization that I have an antiquated personal taste for music, films, and books. I love the whole “discovery” aspect of things — new things in plain sight like new movies that are actually old movies but they are new to me. New music that is actually old music but it’s new to me. Same thing goes for literature — I prefer to read early to mid 19th century authors. I always tell people that one of the best ways to get to know me more profoundly is to look at my music, book, and film collection.
I have found original pressings in excellent condition, with some minimal wear, and excellent sound quality. I found records that I never had the chance to give a proper listen to in their original analog format. I noticed that I had developed a deep appreciation for The Doors. I have become a massive fan of their music after listening to their first album over and over again on vinyl. Now I have all their albums on vinyl, except for Strange Days (I refuse to buy a reissued copy). Also those Rod Stewart’sfirst few albums with The Facesare now at the very top of my favorite classic rock albums of all time.
When you value your music listening experience as much as I do, you end up putting more value on the proper care of your Vinyl collection. Unlike CDs, you have to take better care of your vinyl records; you cannot just loan them to someone else. The idea of my records not being in my possession for an extended period of time terrifies me. I can easily imagine my records returning damaged…. and that is indeed a terrifying thought. On the other hand, the idea of lending out my CDs does not evoke the same emotion in any way, or even downloading an album on iTunes is not the same thing as holding an LP in your hands, admiring the artwork, and so on.
So, I am looking forward to the future. To a future where my vinyl collection surpasses my CD collection (which is massive) to a time where I can have my entire vinyl collection proudly displayed in shelving cabinets against the wall of my home. Where I can play an original pressing of The BeatlesWhite Album, or Bowie’sHunky Dory, or take a trip with Pink Floyd to The Dark Side of the Moon….
I guess what I am trying to say here is that there is no such thing as having too many LP records.
Anybody that knows me well knows that I stopped listening to or buying “new” music years ago. Although, I do make some exceptions here and there for a few bands/musicians that I already follow somewhat religiously, like the Gallagher brothers solo work, Mumford and Sons, U2, Foo Fighters…. to name a few.
This past summer (’17), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers announced that their current tour would be their final tour, which eventually concluded in September at the legendary Roxy in L.A.
As I have gotten older, classic rock has become my favorite genre. In the last few years, I have developed a deep fondness for Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Bowie, the Doors, and early Rod Stewart, to name a few…. but Petty, until recently, had managed to elude me musically. I simply do not know why it took me so long to notice him properly. I obviously knew of him, heard some of his music, and saw some of his music videos. I grew up watching MTV/VH1 daily, and those two channels always had his videos on constant rotation. I can still remember how captivated and at the same time creeped out I was when I first saw Mary Jane’s Last Dance music video in the early nineties.
Hearing about Tom Petty’s passing and reading online, all the profound love, admiration, and gratitude that regular people, celebrities, musicians, and artists were showing him really moved me. It finally pushed me to go out and buy his “Greatest Hits’ vinyl LP and give Petty a proper listen.
After spending some time giving this compilation of greatest hits a serious listen, I can’t help but feel like I’m arriving late to the Tom Petty party, songs like “Refugee” (extremely relevant to today’s political climate), “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “You Got Lucky,” “Learning to Fly,” and “Don’t Come Here No More” among others, all those songs will now remain permanent on my Forever Petty Playlist, and of course, we cannot forget the three most iconic songs of Petty’s catalog “American Girl,” “Free Fallin,” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” Here is my Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers playlist: