Author Archives: Chuck

About Chuck

Chuck is a lifelong music lover. He spent his 20s working as a professional musician before discovering he enjoys listening to music more than playing it. He knows a little bit about most genres, though electronic dance music, rock, and hip-hop are his favorites. Eleven albums/shows that transformed how he sees and hears the world (in order he encountered them): Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Van Halen Fair Warning; The Cure Standing on a Beach; John Coltrane Crescent; De La Soul Three Feet High and Rising; Puccini La Boheme (de los Angeles, Bjorling, Beecham); Everything but the Girl Walking Wounded; Carl Cox, Twilo, NYC, May 2000; Godspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.; Grateful Dead. Fillmore East, NYC, April 1971; Taylor Swift 1989.

Peter Gabriel – Intruder

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A few years after 3 came out, The Police released “Every Breath You Take” and showed the world what a song about a stalker could sound like. It also showed how badly Peter Gabriel whiffed with “Intruder.” In trying to represent the song’s character through sliding guitar picks, gated snare drums, and dissonant chords, Gabriel failed to follow the lead… Read more »

Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers

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Video still from Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers" video

On the surface, this is a catchy pop song. Just beneath the surface, it’s a blistering commentary on social and cultural norms that perpetuate war. “Jeux Sans Frontiers” was a French game show that pitted people from different European countries against one another, and “It’s a Knockout” was the British version of the same show. Gabriel uses silly game shows… Read more »

Meute – Hey Hey (Dennis Ferrer Rework)

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Video still from Muete "Hey Hey"

Meute is a German marching band that understands the essence of electronic dance music. Their rendition of Dennis Ferrer’s classic “Hey Hey” embodies everything that is wonderful about house, then takes it to the street and celebrates everything that is wonderful about live music in public spaces. Bob noted how the best covers bring the right amount of both the… Read more »

Hopeton Lewis – Don’t Take Your Guns to Town

Old reggae covers of old country songs are a trip. This 1972 recording of Johnny Cash’s story song moves the setting to Jamaica, where the cowboy named Billy Joe becomes a young stupid boy named Joe and the dusty cowpoke is a big dread man. This is a very different, and very cool, way to hear a classic country song…. Read more »

Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun

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Album cover for Daniel Lanois' Heavy Sun

Heavy Sun is a well-intentioned album that leans on Daniel Lanois’ long history with gospel. The lyrics preach a message of hope and love that cannot be preached enough. The production is beautiful, because everything Lanois produces is beautiful. The album is boring though. It lacks everything that defines great gospel. The opening is promising, with haunting organ and impassioned… Read more »

Foreigner – February 9, 1982, Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque NM

I was 12 years old and I was enamored with “Juke Box Hero.” Not just the song, but the story. That one guitar that blew him away and felt good in his hands and was a one-way ticket to the top. My mom drove me through the Southwestern snow to the local Sears. We stood among the tents and the… Read more »

Valerie June – The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers

Album cover for Valerie June's The Mood and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers

Valerie June’s voice drew me into this album. I’ve never heard a voice like hers. It’s a little Dolly and a little Erykah and nothing like either. Her voice is wracked with vulnerability yet has the chops to run with any classic girl group. Her songs and lyrics made me stay. The songs are beautifully crafted and move us through… Read more »

Tyshawn Sorey & Jennifer Curtis – Invisible Ritual

Album cover for Tyshawn Sorey and Jennifer Curtis "Invisible Ritual"

This record reminds me why I love music. It reminds me that music can transform our minds and our souls and the way we see the world. Each of its eight songs is an improvised duet between Carter’s violin and Sorey on either piano or drums. Each song is like a conversation between two people who are connecting for the… Read more »